UP CM Yogi Adityanath has taken the reins to control
the spread of Corona with some tough and forthright measures
With the onset of COVID-19 our present generation has witnessed one of the most difficult times, a phase which has halted the lives of millions across the globe. The world looks up to India to break the chain of the spread of deadly coronavirus. Some tough steps have been taken by the ruling Govt in India under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi to curb the community spread. With the 21 days lockdown period, the population of the world’s second most populous country is forced to stay home. But this has hit the lower strata of the society to a great extent which comprises the daily wage laborers, a class which earns its living on a day to day basis without or very minimal savings.
With most of the industries, offices, restaurants, hotels shut down these people have no means to earn their livelihood to feed their stomach. At the same time many governments, including UP, are trying to leave no stone unturned to help each citizen.
Daily essentials for common man
Considering Uttar Pradesh which is the most populous state in India Yogiji is making every effort to make all the daily commodities available to the common man locked at home to stop the pandemic. Steps are taken to ensure that groceries are being sold at MRP so that no black marketing of essential commodities takes place. Prior to the 21-day lockdown, when the PM had announced Janata Curfew, many were concerned as to how the situation would take turn. We had several questions in our minds.
We wondered if we would get our monthly stock of groceries considering the panic which had already started spreading among people. To our horror, Big Basket had already put up a disclaimer that considering the demand the delivery of orders might get delayed. Many of the items were already out of stock. Our nearest supermarket had also run out of stock on most of the items.
Then the ‘21-days Lockdown’ was announced leaving us in the most peculiar situation which we had never imagined in our lifetime. We were literally confined to our apartment society. However, all the basic amenities like milk, vegetables, pharmacy and grocery stores were open throughout the day. This was ensured so that the common man is not inconvenienced during the Lockdown period. People are regularly educated to maintain safe distance everywhere.
District Magistrates (DMs) of all the districts have been instructed to personally supervise the supply of essential items so that no black marketing takes place anywhere in the supply chain. Tie ups have been done with Govt and private milk suppliers to cater to daily milk supplies. Mobile milk vans have been arranged for delivery of milk to various localities. Supermarket chains and delivery partners like Swiggy, Zomato, Big Bazar, Easyday, Spencer, Family Bazar etc have been roped in for the area wise home delivery of groceries. Police have been instructed to educate people about social distancing and prevent crowding at shops or other vendor points.
A Vigilant government
Provisioning essential items for the common man is one thing but ensuring that the law is not broken is a challenge for any government. To ensure this, the Yogi government is not leaving anything to chance. Police patrolling is being done at regular intervals to ensure the vegetable vendors cover their mouths and noses at least with a cloth if not a mask. The police are also ensuring that both the vendors and the buyers maintain safe distance among themselves.
Focus on Lower Strata of the society
The Yogi Adityanath government is trying to make sure the lower section of society gets its daily quota of food and other necessary items. He has granted an amount of Rs 1000 for the poor and also appealed to the owners of these people to waive off the monthly rents. He has even instructed that water and electricity be made available to them even if there are any arrears. He has taken full responsibility of each individual residing in the state to ensure they do not face problems of any kind during this lockdown phase.
The government has also distributed foodgrains to 1.94 crore ration card holders in the state through its public distribution (PDS) network and to 35,843 poorest of the poor beneficiaries under the Antyodaya scheme.
The state has set up 527 community kitchens across the state and 1.37 lakh food packets have been distributed up till now to the needy. Yogi Adityanath himself had visited the community kitchen centres in Lucknow last week and took stock of the arrangements for the preparation and supply of food to the needy people.
One such community kitchen in Jiamau in Lucknow prepares fresh food to feed more than 4,000 people daily. The food prepared here is packed by the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) workers in disposable tiffin boxes which are later distributed to the poor which includes the daily wage workers and rickshaw pullers.
Transit for stranded labourers
After the misadventure of the Delhi government, thousands of the daily-wage laborers and other poor people from UP were left stranded on the Delhi-UP border with no means of transport. The Delhi government had ferried them in DTC buses till the border and left them to fend for themselves.
Taking the challenge head on, the Yogi government immediately arranged buses for thousands of stranded labourers at the state borders who were safely transported to their respective destinations. Special buses were arranged so that they can reach back to their villages conveniently.
Challenge of Quarantine centers
Thousands of laborers at the same place threw a new challenge to the UP government. They ran the risk of being affected with the Coronavirus infection. Consequently, proper accommodation and quarantine centres had to be arranged for doctors and Paramedical staff who are working round the clock to test and attend to thousands of patients. To mitigate the situation, the Yogi government hit upon many novel ideas. Many hotels including 5-star hotels in the state capital have been converted to isolation centers for doctors and paramedical staff who are working selflessly round the clock for the treatment of corona suspected patients.
The UP government has started a dedicated 210 bed hospital at Lucknow's Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) for high risk Corona infected patients. Currently there are 5,000 beds for isolation and the government is taking all measures to scale it up to 15,000 in the coming days.
Thank you Yogi Ji!
Several citizens who have experienced the management of the lockdown by the Yogi Adityanath’s government spoke to the author. Speaking on the way Yogi ji showed urgency in dealing with the situation, Rahul Gupta, a resident of Gomti Nagar in Lucknow says, “I want to thank Yogiji for his on ground management of all limited resources to manage law and order in such a huge state. At the same time, he has ensured uninterrupted supply of essential items including milk, groceries, fruits and vegetables etc.”
Speaking on the measures taken to ensure food for the needy, Rahul says “Last but not the least, community kitchens have guaranteed that nobody sleeps without food. We are lucky to have him as our CM in this world of morally weak people.”
Another resident of Lucknow said that he was impressed with the way the UP government showed its readiness to set up quarantine centres which was reassuring to all citizens.
“The UP Govt has shown immense readiness to deal with COVID-19 be it effective implementation of lockdown or law and order management within the state to availability of essential items during lockdown. Task force has been set up to help out the people from UP who are stuck at places outside the state. Quarantine centers are being set up at various places to handle the treatment of patients who have been tested positive with the virus”, says Rakesh Verma, a resident of Gomti Nagar Extn in Lucknow.
(The author is a resident of Lucknow)