Impact and Policy Research Institute
COVID-19 has been spreading fast in rural areas while issues related to its management and the government’s response to the pandemic remain.
Policies are seen as a political investment, and the executive and legislature have electoral pressures and considerations. Civil services and other government jobs have generated interests primarily for their job security, high salaries, and promotions.
COVID-19 has unleashed one of the greatest human tragedies of the contemporary era demonstrating our fragility and has laid bare severe and systemic inequalities at all levels. It provides several lessons in the conduct of all aspects of human personality, professional, societal, and institutional lives globally.
Panchayats have been the core of India's rural governance even before they received the constitutional mandate through the 73rd constitutional amendment in 1992, forming the basis of decentralization in the country. There are 2.5 lakh gram panchayats; over 6 lakhs villages; around 4500 urban local bodies and 4000 census towns in the country.
Through no fault of their own, migrants were forced to leave the cities after the government imposed a Covid-19 induced national lockdown in late March. After losing their work, fearing they would run out of cash and food they trudged back along with their families to the villages in search of humanity, food, and a place to live.
Uttarakhand’s rural areas are marked by massive outflux of people and it is believed that rural migration may alter the state’s political geography.
India stares at a Covid-19 induced waste management crisis and there is a need to strengthen waste management services. An important sanitary barrier to prevent the dissemination of illnesses and diseases, waste management’s impact on the world’s healthcare systems, and the economy are significant.
Suddenly thrown out of work by a nationwide lockdown, the migrants who built our cities and our economies were forced to take the torturous walk away from the cities to their homes in rural India.