Village Panchayats undertake various measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 across India

New Delhi: With respect to COVID 19 pandemic, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India in close collaboration with State Governments has taken various initiatives. Close consultation and guidance of the State as well as District authorities is being maintained to ensure that lock down conditions are not violated and norms of social distancing are scrupulously followed to contain the spread of the disease.

Various initiatives are being taken at the individual panchayat level which may be followed by others as examples of best practices. Some of them are –

Rajasthan: In all gram panchayats in the state, the use of Social Media whatsapp group has been used to create awareness among the masses in the villages. Information at the grassroots level is being given to the people by putting posters everywhere. Regular cleaning operations are being carried out and sodium hypochlorite is being sprayed on the roads in Gram Panchayat Makkasar of Hanumangarh District. Face masks are being distributed to the citizens by Gram Panchayat members and social organizations and citizens are also being told not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth, wash hands with soap frequently and maintain personal distance. Along with ration distribution to villagers, fodder for abandoned cattle is also being provided by a social service organization.

Bihar: The Sarpanch is leading by example in Gram Panchayat Singhwahini, which is only 14 kms away from the Indo-Nepal Border. Awareness generation is being done through wall writings.

Chhattisgarh: Orientation is being provided to villagers and migrants on social distancing and what precautions they must take in Kanker district for those who returned to village. Awareness is also being provided on social distancing and hand washing to MNREGA agricultural labour and workers by PR officials.

Tamil Nadu: Sanitization is being done in the Kannanur Gram Panchayat. Villagers are maintaining social distancing while receiving ration and essentials from the Gram Panchayat in Mettupatti Gram Panchayat. Disinfectant is being sprayed in Vadakkipalayam Village in Pollachi North Block in Coimbatore District. Vegetables are being distributed by vehicles among the vulnerable communities in block Pullarambakkam Pt of Tiruvallur district. Mass cleaning and disinfection is being undertaken in Virudhunagar Block. Disinfectant was sprayed in every house of Tiruvannamalai district. 3 types of PPE Kits were distributed to health and sanitation workers in the district.

Odisha: During the shutdown in Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Bhadrak, food is being served to destitute persons in various GPs. Food security assistance of Rs 1000/- was distributed to beneficiaries in Bhandaripokhari GP. Sadar Gram Panchayat areas under Bhadrak GP are being sanitised by Odisha Fire Services. ‘More Livelihood, Less Crowd’ – to support vegetable cultivators of GPs nearby to Sadar Block, local needs market with social distancing norms is functioning at Bhadrak. Pradhan of Gram Pachayat Bamta block, District Bilaspur is not only working towards awareness generation among villagers about COVID-19 and its preventive measures but also sanitizing all the buildings of government institutions like Schools, Anganwaris, GP office, temples, houses, streets etc. on her own. She is also providing masks and sanitizers to the villagers and distributing ration to migrant labourers with the help of local youth.

Telangana: Awareness meetings are conducted at district level all over the state in Telangana. Training on Covid19 Protocol is given to all Sarpanchas, Councillors, Zila Parishad members, Municipal Chairmen, Tahasildars, etc. SB Pally GP of Rangareddy district took an initiative to allow public service volunteers and government officials only after sanitizing themselves before entering the villages. Shakarapalli Mandal chairperson tailored masks herself and distributed to villagers in Kottapalli GP. In the Shalkarampet mandal of Medak District, MPDO is involved in distribution of pensions directly to beneficiaries of those who cannot access banking facilities during lock down.

Maharashtra: Migrant labour from Maharashtra state who have been found going to their native place on foot at Dornakal have been provided shelter and been given rice drinking water by the officials.

Karnataka: Jaali Town Panchayat in Bhatkal Taluk of Uttra Kannada district has made appreciable efforts. The town panchayat took preventive actions against COVID- 19 proactively before the lockdown in the entire country. It has Bhatkal beach where gathering of local people, fishermen and tourists is normal. The Panchayat President first strategized by sealing the boundaries of the area in order to minimize the people approaching the beach. He also involved the neighbouring gram panchayats to follow and support the initiative. He has also printed pamphlets for sensitizing people about Corornavirus and its preventive measures.

Ladakh: Distribution of food supplies is being done in the Chowkiyal GP, Drass Block in Kargil District (one of the coldest inhabited places) and in Disket Nubra GP in Leh District. Health checkups and quarantine facilities are arranged in Ladakh.

Jharkhand: Free ration distribution is being done by forest staff in remote villages of Koderma district.

Kerala: Vadakkekkara Gram Panchayat in Ernakulam district has started a website which acts as platform for emergency response activities.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Government has identified people who are really in need of help. Relief material was provided to them that includes vegetables, ration items, chicken, bakery products and drinking water. Even monetary assistance to few families was provided. Door to door coverage of households is being done in entire islands. Volunteers are working 24×7 for the wellbeing of the people. In GP Neil Kendra, sanitation workers are sanitizing entire bazaar areas including shops, vegetable market, panchayat bhawan and public places.

Goa: Residents of Sonal village in Sattari (North Goa) have put up a wooden gate, which is manned by youngsters 24/7. Essential commodities are made available by the GP within the village to ensure that residents do not step out.