Phani Raj Kuchibhotla

Curious Curator

Lockdown and proposed process for better implementation

India enters into a 21 day lockdown starting today to prevent the spread of Coronavirus & Covid-19 disease. Yesterday Indian Prime Minister that India would go under a 21 day lockdown that prevents citizens from coming out of their home except for essential services, with 4 hours notice, while this is done with a 2 day notice in South Africa. That means all business except for essential needs would need to shut shop.

This wasn’t exactly made clear in the talk , but there were a series of notifications defining essential services, which is available, which is not and what are the penalties for defaulter etc.

Now in situations like this, it is most important that the detailed implementation steps provided to state governments that the implementation is standard across the India( which may be too much to ask for), but at least the SOP is made the same

My proposed processes in a random order of importance.

Leaders

Probably this is the time where we need more ground level leaders than ever.

  • Sarpanches or ones nominated by sarpanches at village level.
  • Mayors in cities with support from local area police
  • Municipal chairpersons at town level with support from police
  • Local MLAs
  • Public distribution agencies

Movement of essential goods

It is already mentioned essential goods movement is not restricted, but it makes sense those vehicles be labelled as such that there is no restriction in their movement across geographies, may be common logo like “CORONA ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES” be affixed on all such vehicles.

Last Mile Supply of essentials

Shopping at stores

Once the supplies are made available at village/block level in cities, it is important that the individuals down crowd in shops to purchase this. From what we have seen, local police are allowing these essential store be open from 6 - 10AM , means every one would crowd during these times to purchase. Instead mayors and chairpersons should take the charge and have each ward would be given a slot for shopping and have the essential store open in business hours. Plus, at the store ensure that they maintain required physical distance.

Public Distribution

For those, who lost income and don’t have any disposable income any more, local state governments should ensure they provide the required ration and distribute them directly at each house irrespective of whether they have a required (ration) card or not. This is done with current Public Distribution Staff.

Public Feeding Stations

There will be some part of population who do not have even those provision to cook, there should be public food distribution stores - with food cooked by NGOs. There were earlier examples like Indira Canteen in Karnataka & Anna Canteen in Andhra Pradesh and similar initiatives in many other states, these should ensure that all the food is made available.

Volunteers to help elderly:

A group of volunteers to help elderly and run their errands.

Cash Incentives:

A lot of government funds from JNNURM, MNREGA can be used to pay direct cash incentives to individuals who lost their daily wages.

Clear Household Identification

Local leaders(MLAs) should have a hold on the number of households with food and health problems and should escalate the need to state governments. This will not only control the spread, but also help feed the hungry.

to be continued, as and when i see a gap.