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Health India

Citizens pen five-point letter to Centre and State gov’t to tackle Covid-19

The letter talks about a subsistence scheme for vulnerable citizens and the postponement of discussion and implementationon contentious issues

Sabrangindia 19 Mar 2020

letterImage Courtesy: stlucianewsonline.com

Concerned citizens from various organizations like the National Alliance of People’s Movements, All India Union of Forest Working People, National Fishworker’s Forum, Muslim Women’s Forum and Citizens for Justice and Peace among others have made a five point appeal to the Central government and State governments of India to improve coordination and relief efforts in the light of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter signed by academics, journalists, writers and filmmakers among other eminent citizens requests the governments to immediately form a national and state level COVID-19 coordination and relief committees with experts, administrators, elected leaders and civil society representatives, to tackle the acute crisis of the coronavirus epidemic.

The five points they put forth are:

1.       A lot of people are going to be out of work and hence a moratorium to be passed on all forms of evictions; be it due to non-payment of rents and confiscation or other punishments due to non-payment of loans, esp for small amounts. RBI and Banks should be asked to be extremely lenient towards individual borrowers and SMEs, including minimum balance penalties and waving of banking charges. A call should come to surpass the technicalities and make help reach people at this point.

2. Government social welfare schemes, companies, institutions, families and resident welfare associations to be directed to pay at least a part of the salary to all their employees, including daily wagers who are employed on a casual basis, taking the humanitarian crisis into account. Each state government should come up with a subsistence scheme for the likes of drivers and construction workers. As socially and economically vulnerable groups suffer most in such situations, appeal to the public conscience to be considerate and activate governmental mechanisms for such groups.

3. Make a commitment and declaration that no one will suffer without food or medicine in the country. Start small enquiry teams and home food delivery teams. Create storage system for agricultural produce, along with a system by which over-purchase and under-availability will be curbed.

4. There are various issues on which struggles are going on in different parts of the country. The governments need to address all protestors and give an assurance to each and everyone of them that it will keep all contentious issues out, till the corona virus emergency is over. The governments should also keep aside all decisions that might create fear or antagonism in the minds of the people for now. The entire government machinery should work to keep the people of the country together. Thus the environment that necessitates protests will cease to exist upto the point is deadly condition is alive. We are certain that if the government takes the lead in all sincerity, people will respond- it is the easiest, most ethical and effective way ahead.

5. Every state has to open more testing centres both in the public and private sectors and give a clear set of instructions and confidence to those who are in self quarantine and those who are tested positive. If needed, take over the infrastructure of private hospitals, start special units and enlist more people for the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled works involved in this health emergency. Take utmost care of the safety of health professionals. Come out with clear instructions on home quarantine and sanitization of spaces and vehicles.

Most important of the points mentioned in the letter are the request to the government made about providing an income to daily wagers and coming up with a subsistence scheme for vulnerable groups which are most likely to be affected by the pandemic.

Also, in the wake of growing communal hatred against the protestors staging sit-ins against the CAA-NPR-NRC, the request of the signatories to the government to keep the contentious issues out of discussion and implementation till the pandemic is done away with, is important too.

At this trying time, it is important that the government not only look at ways and means to prevent the pandemic and ramp up testing, but also ensure that it has ample storage of food and other amenities in case the situation calls for a lockdown.

Related:

BREAKING: NRC related activity put on hold in Assam due to Corona Virus
Aaj Tak’s communal agenda surfaces as it targets Shaheen Bagh, mosques over Covid-19

Congress MP Manish Tewari on Jammu and Kashmir's economic collapse since the abrogation of Article 370

Citizens pen five-point letter to Centre and State gov’t to tackle Covid-19

The letter talks about a subsistence scheme for vulnerable citizens and the postponement of discussion and implementationon contentious issues

letterImage Courtesy: stlucianewsonline.com

Concerned citizens from various organizations like the National Alliance of People’s Movements, All India Union of Forest Working People, National Fishworker’s Forum, Muslim Women’s Forum and Citizens for Justice and Peace among others have made a five point appeal to the Central government and State governments of India to improve coordination and relief efforts in the light of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The letter signed by academics, journalists, writers and filmmakers among other eminent citizens requests the governments to immediately form a national and state level COVID-19 coordination and relief committees with experts, administrators, elected leaders and civil society representatives, to tackle the acute crisis of the coronavirus epidemic.

The five points they put forth are:

1.       A lot of people are going to be out of work and hence a moratorium to be passed on all forms of evictions; be it due to non-payment of rents and confiscation or other punishments due to non-payment of loans, esp for small amounts. RBI and Banks should be asked to be extremely lenient towards individual borrowers and SMEs, including minimum balance penalties and waving of banking charges. A call should come to surpass the technicalities and make help reach people at this point.

2. Government social welfare schemes, companies, institutions, families and resident welfare associations to be directed to pay at least a part of the salary to all their employees, including daily wagers who are employed on a casual basis, taking the humanitarian crisis into account. Each state government should come up with a subsistence scheme for the likes of drivers and construction workers. As socially and economically vulnerable groups suffer most in such situations, appeal to the public conscience to be considerate and activate governmental mechanisms for such groups.

3. Make a commitment and declaration that no one will suffer without food or medicine in the country. Start small enquiry teams and home food delivery teams. Create storage system for agricultural produce, along with a system by which over-purchase and under-availability will be curbed.

4. There are various issues on which struggles are going on in different parts of the country. The governments need to address all protestors and give an assurance to each and everyone of them that it will keep all contentious issues out, till the corona virus emergency is over. The governments should also keep aside all decisions that might create fear or antagonism in the minds of the people for now. The entire government machinery should work to keep the people of the country together. Thus the environment that necessitates protests will cease to exist upto the point is deadly condition is alive. We are certain that if the government takes the lead in all sincerity, people will respond- it is the easiest, most ethical and effective way ahead.

5. Every state has to open more testing centres both in the public and private sectors and give a clear set of instructions and confidence to those who are in self quarantine and those who are tested positive. If needed, take over the infrastructure of private hospitals, start special units and enlist more people for the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled works involved in this health emergency. Take utmost care of the safety of health professionals. Come out with clear instructions on home quarantine and sanitization of spaces and vehicles.

Most important of the points mentioned in the letter are the request to the government made about providing an income to daily wagers and coming up with a subsistence scheme for vulnerable groups which are most likely to be affected by the pandemic.

Also, in the wake of growing communal hatred against the protestors staging sit-ins against the CAA-NPR-NRC, the request of the signatories to the government to keep the contentious issues out of discussion and implementation till the pandemic is done away with, is important too.

At this trying time, it is important that the government not only look at ways and means to prevent the pandemic and ramp up testing, but also ensure that it has ample storage of food and other amenities in case the situation calls for a lockdown.

Related:

BREAKING: NRC related activity put on hold in Assam due to Corona Virus
Aaj Tak’s communal agenda surfaces as it targets Shaheen Bagh, mosques over Covid-19

Congress MP Manish Tewari on Jammu and Kashmir's economic collapse since the abrogation of Article 370

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