Assam gears up to curb COVID in rural areas; 304 GPs, village councils virus-free


From Our Correspondent


The Assam panchayat and rural development department has intensified measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the rural areas of the state, having set up a war room and task force in every gaon panchayat.

This was informed by State Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass here on Monday.

Addressing reporters here, the minister said as many as 304 gaon panchayats, village child development committees (VCDCs) and village development committees (VDCs) are COVID-19 free because of the initiatives undertaken to fight COVID-19 in the rural areas.

“Of these, 173 are gaon panchayats (GPs) and 131 are VCDCs/VDCs. I am hopeful that with the active participation and cooperation of everyone we will be able to declare all the rural areas of Assam as COVID free in the near future,” Dass said.

“The gaon panchayats and VCDCs/VDCs, which are cutting-edge institutions, have been geared up to fight COVID-19 in the rural areas,” he said.

Assam has 2,197 gaon panchayats and 479 VCDCs/VDCs under the Sixth Schedule districts.

“In every gaon panchayat (GP), a war room has been set up, which is acting as the nodal point to fight COVID-19 in the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs. Task Force has been constituted in the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs with the participation of the Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members. Sanitisation activities have been undertaken as well,” the minister said.

Besides, the department has distributed free masks among the vulnerable groups, such as job card holders, weaker sections of people, widows, marginal farmers, etc, of the GPs wherever necessary.

“Presently, a “jan andolan” (mass movement) against COVID-19 is seen in the rural areas,” he said.

“In response to my appeal, three ministers, two MPs, 40 MLAs and 4 MLCAs participated in the “jan andolan” events and turned the initiatives of the department into a true mass movement,” Dass said.

People are also becoming aware of COVID protocols in the rural areas with the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs taking up intensive sensitisation. 

“PRI members are also involved actively in this mission. Panchayat people have been providing required help in COVID vaccination and testing centres by way of either putting manpower or material,” he added.

(Edited by Shankar Kumar Turha)

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