An appeal to private doctors
It is said, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Today I will change it a little bit and say, “A doctor in need is a doctor indeed,” because doctors are our most wanted friends now. They are the ones who could save us. This is the time when all “private” doctors, health clinics and nursing homes should give serious thought towards helping the government by extending their voluntary services in every possible way. I am sure that all doctors will agree that this is the most “unprecedented” health crisis mankind has ever witnessed, at least in modern times. Therefore, this also becomes a moral obligation of the medical fraternity to demonstrate a little kindness and compassion. If they still choose to remain on “lockdown at home” then the groan and moan of humanity will unmask them forever.
Need for pragmatic steps
The lock down is welcome but we should also not blindly follow Mumbai or Delhi. There they have local trains and metros which are very crowded and so very prone to the spread of the Virus which is known to be present there. The situation here is unlike Mumbai or Delhi. We don’t have local trains or metros; we are a small hill station with an iota of a population compared to these metros. Inter district movement is also restricted which is a welcome move. And knowing that the Virus is not here yet and it’s not air borne so we are comparably safer. Hence we should try to ease the life of citizens.
In Delhi and Mumbai, big retailers like Big Bazaar have offered to send necessities to people’s doorsteps. How are we going to manage here? We have to try and find some solution. We may try to alternately open all grocery stores one day (opening all helps to distribute the crowd, except in big markets like Bara Bazaar, Polo Bazaar, and Laitumkhrah Bazaar) grocery shops of the localities may open as they have very few footfalls. Next day we may open all vegetable shops in the localities – their supplies may be from those new four market places, another day we may open all wine shops as adults also need their beverages, and some income will trickle to the state. If required police and excise people may be deployed here to prevent overcrowding. Customers may stand in a queue with 6 feet gap maintained by the men in uniform, and if the crowd is uncontrollable order a shut down. One day we may order opening of all hardware shops, cement, and shops selling building materials so that daily wage earners can still carry on their construction work and government won’t need to give them hand-outs.
Paltan Bazaar may open for locality shop owners, but keeping vigil on the crowd. If it gets too crowded then the shops may shut down. But this may not work as this market gets overcrowded due to the presence of buyers from other districts. Other districts don’t have Paltan Bazaar so how will their shops be replenished is something to think about.
D. S. Jyrwa.
Spare a thought for the poor
With the ongoing pandemic crisis creating havoc all over the world, Covid19 has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization. Several lock downs have and will be implemented in the State of Meghalaya as well to prevent the spread of Covid19. This proves that the government is responsible for the health and well being of each and every citizen of the state. The Government has also assured the people that there will be no shortage of essential commodities and that it would be made available at various district head quarters where it will be easily accessible for people hailing from remote villages. However, the Government should prioritize the weaker sections of the state as the most vulnerable be it economically, socially, emotionally and psychologically. These citizens have been hit hard by lockdowns to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. They should not face hunger.
Most of the citizens of Meghalaya belong to the weakest section of the society such as muster roll labourers, farmers, wage-labourers, dhobis, street vendors single parents etc., who live from hand to mouth and live below poverty line be it rural or urban areas. It would be difficult for these citizens living from hand to mouth to buy essential commodities as they will not be able to earn their daily wages due to lockdowns imposed by the Government. In this regard, we urge the Government of Meghalaya to take necessary measures to provide immediate free food rationing scheme for the citizens of the state taking into account their age, income, and vulnerability. This should apply to the whole state of Meghalaya.
Taking advantage of a crisis!
These days every one speaks about COVID 19. Some crack jokes about it, some take it seriously. I am writing this for those who are taking it lightly and who don’t care, are selfish and think only of their needs. I had taken a cab from IGP point. Some cabs took advantage by increasing the fare. When I asked why they said it was because the Government does not allow more than three passengers in the cab! I think this is a selfish act because all of us are taking precautionary measures issued by the Health Department while some out there are making money. Everywhere people are doubling the prices of vegetables. So much so that in Laitumkhrah Market tomatoes were selling at Rs 250 per kg.
But amidst all this what strikes me most is the Good Samaritan act of Jaiaw Presbyterian Church which took a great initiative to donate food and essential commodities to the poor and the helpless. I salute them for that.
I think others should follow their example.
We are all in this together, so let’s fight this together by curbing and eliminating the Virus once and for all.
Chanmiki Ezra Laloo
Concern for daily wage earners
Prime Minister Modi has taken a major step to root out the Covid-19. While addressing the nation on Tuesday night the Prime Minister announced that in the next 21 days India will remain completely locked down from the midnight of March 24 to April 14. The Prime Minister requested the nation to not get out of their homes because one wrong step at this juncture is enough to push the country back by 21 years.
The fact is that there are many people who didn’t take it seriously when the state governments asked them to remain indoors for a few days. That’s why Prime Minister Modi had to come out again to reiterate that we all have to fight against Covid-19. At the same time, the government allotted Rs 15,000 crore for healthcare to tackle Covid-19. It is an undeniable fact that Italy ranks second in the world in healthcare, yet the situation is so grave that people are dying each day in large numbers. India ranks 120th in healthcare, that’s why we need to be very careful not to burden the system.
But the other aspect is that there are many people in India who live on their daily wages. Therefore, there should be organized committees that can manage to provide them food in these critical days otherwise many poor people will starve.