Change strategy to tackle Covid-19: Traditional heads tell govt
By Daiaphira Kharsati
Underlining the gravity of the current Covid-19 situation in the state, the president of Synjuk Ki Nongsynshar Shnong Ka Bri Hynniewtrep (SKNSKBH), RL Blah has asked the government to come up with new strategies to deal with the situation in Meghalaya.
Expressing concern over the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases and vaccine hesitancy in the state, especially in the rural areas, Blah said, “The government has exhausted almost all its strategies and it is high time to look for novel ways to tackle the situation.”
He also added that in some rural areas, people are not welcoming the health personnel, doctors, or ASHA members. “Every time they go for a meeting in these areas, it is a waste of time and funds,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of traditional institutions in this regard, Blah said that with the government running out of new strategies, it should turn to traditional heads of villages for new ideas to sensitise the people about the virus. He also vouched for financial aid to these institutions from the government. “It is a given that people in the rural areas would pay more attention to members of traditional institutions than government personnel,” he said.
“The dorbar shnong would need funds from the government as they cannot go for donation drives knocking at the doors of each household,” he said, adding that the only financial aid the councils had received from the government during the Covid crisis was Rs 10,000 for setting quarantine centres last year.
Highlighting the importance of faith leaders in this respect, Blah said that their assistance can be beneficial in eliminating vaccine hesitancy among the people. “The society at large looks upon our faith leaders as the torch-bearers and if they join hands with us, things will move in the right direction,” he said, adding that the traditional institutions are waiting for the government’s green signal to start implementing its strategies.
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