Op-Ed – Eastern Mirror https://easternmirrornagaland.com The latest and breaking news from Nagaland, northeast India, India and the world. Current affairs and news of politics from around the world, latest updates on business news, sports, arts and entertainment Sat, 30 May 2020 17:58:19 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://easternmirrornagaland.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/cropped-FavIcon-32x32.png Op-Ed – Eastern Mirror https://easternmirrornagaland.com 32 32 Fight against Tobacco https://easternmirrornagaland.com/fight-against-tobacco/ Sat, 30 May 2020 17:56:12 +0000 https://easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=314992 31 May, World No Tobacco Day 2020 For decades, the tobacco industry has deliberately employed strategic, aggressive   campaign to attract youth to tobacco and nicotine products.  The industry has been carrying out in-depth research and calculated approaches designed to attract a new generation of tobacco users, from product design to marketing campaigns aimed at replacing the millions of people who die each year from tobacco-attributable diseases with new consumers – youth. For 2020 the WHO has chosen “Protecting the youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use” as the theme which seeks to provide a counter-marketing campaign and empower young people to engage in the fight against Big Tobacco. The World No Tobacco Day 2020 global campaign will serve to: • Expose the lies and manipulation tactics employed by the tobacco industries, particularly marketing tactics targeted at youth, including through the introduction of new and novel products, flavours and other attractive features. • Equip young people with knowledge about the tobacco and related industries’ tactics to hook current and future generations on tobacco and nicotine products. • Empower influencers (in pop culture, on social media, in the home, or in the classroom) to protect and...

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31 May, World No Tobacco Day 2020

For decades, the tobacco industry has deliberately employed strategic, aggressive   campaign to attract youth to tobacco and nicotine products.  The industry has been carrying out in-depth research and calculated approaches designed to attract a new generation of tobacco users, from product design to marketing campaigns aimed at replacing the millions of people who die each year from tobacco-attributable diseases with new consumers – youth. For 2020 the WHO has chosen “Protecting the youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use” as the theme which seeks to provide a counter-marketing campaign and empower young people to engage in the fight against Big Tobacco. The World No Tobacco Day 2020 global campaign will serve to:

• Expose the lies and manipulation tactics employed by the tobacco industries, particularly marketing tactics targeted at youth, including through the introduction of new and novel products, flavours and other attractive features.

• Equip young people with knowledge about the tobacco and related industries’ tactics to hook current and future generations on tobacco and nicotine products.

• Empower influencers (in pop culture, on social media, in the home, or in the classroom) to protect and defend youth and catalyse change by engaging them in the fight against Big Tobacco.

The onslaught of tobacco industry’s campaign on the youth will continue but there is no reason why today’s youth with high level of awareness should fall prey to this. It’s high time that they come out and lead the Anti-Tobacco campaign themselves. It’s also a wakeup call for all the leaders, in different fields to take tobacco issues seriously, if we want younger generations to be a healthier society. The present situation offers a unique opportunity to the leaders of the state, to strictly implement Tobacco Control Laws under different provisions in the State, as now it is very clear that, consumption of tobacco products and spitting could lead to community transmission of virus. Moreover, most Tobacco users have co-morbidities and they have a much greater chance at developing serious complications when they are infected with the virus. Reducing tobacco use in society will not only reduce disease burden but it will improve the economy of the people. Sooner or later tobacco has to be dealt as such and this is the best time to do it.

Dr C Tetseo
State Nodal officer, NTCP
Issued in public interest

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Care For Caregivers During Covid-19 https://easternmirrornagaland.com/care-for-caregivers-during-covid-19/ Thu, 28 May 2020 16:02:00 +0000 https://easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=314697 Very rarely do we get a chance to directly serve humanity and that too when caught unawares. SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) has not just been a life-time experience but an era-time experience for the entire world. It has made us realise that we all are vulnerable and the vulnerability of women, children, elderly and animals is of even higher level. One’s administrative acumen/ caliber is also tested during these testing times. How fast and accurately we respond to the needs of those who have high hopes on us is the “mantra”. Our Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India is also trying its best to support and strengthen the bedrock of our society – women and children. The lockdown imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic crisis has made everyone grounded and realise that basic needs should be taken care of by ourselves as far as possible – like sweeping, mopping, cleansing and cooking and that our house helps/ maids too must have got long deserved rest and time to spend with their respective families. We all must have become more sensitive, sympathetic and full of gratitude towards our house helps, yet many of them have suffered during this time if their...

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Very rarely do we get a chance to directly serve humanity and that too when caught unawares. SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) has not just been a life-time experience but an era-time experience for the entire world. It has made us realise that we all are vulnerable and the vulnerability of women, children, elderly and animals is of even higher level. One’s administrative acumen/ caliber is also tested during these testing times. How fast and accurately we respond to the needs of those who have high hopes on us is the “mantra”. Our Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India is also trying its best to support and strengthen the bedrock of our society – women and children.

The lockdown imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic crisis has made everyone grounded and realise that basic needs should be taken care of by ourselves as far as possible – like sweeping, mopping, cleansing and cooking and that our house helps/ maids too must have got long deserved rest and time to spend with their respective families. We all must have become more sensitive, sympathetic and full of gratitude towards our house helps, yet many of them have suffered during this time if their employers have not paid them for over two months now. World has to learn to appreciate and honour the “Symbiotic relationships” in life.

Whereas, on one hand, both parents could spend time with their kids at home (as schools were also closed) after so long and family bonding got strengthened and children could get an opportunity to have meals cooked by parents at a stretch, yet on the other hand, there are families who did not have anything to be fed for days together and have no reach to “online schooling” whatsoever.

We cannot close our eyes to the fact that when unwilling partners are forced to be locked down together, emotional upheavals like frustration, anger, clashes, tussles are bound to happen. It is expected and normal too. What is problematic is the situation when one is not able to control and channelise the negative thoughts and does not respect the other lesser mortals and comes out aggressively impounding upon the physically vulnerables. In turn, the children at home, observe this behaviour and implicitly learn to be alright with the idea and in times to come, too turn out to be inhumane in character, in the same way.

There are so many things to be enjoyed together – learning a new language or a musical instrument, watching movies, listening to radio, helping kids in their studies and better grooming, reading books, undertaking online courses, yet there are many wretched souls who draw sadistic pleasure from inciting violence on their better halves and children.

Ministry of Women and Child Development has been trying to do its bit during these unprecedented times to help out the women and children. No doubt, women have always been multi-taskers, managing both home and workplace well. But with the new normal of “Work From Home”, care responsibilities of these nation-builders have increased manifold with disproportionate amount of burden.

If cases of domestic violence and undesired pregnancy increase during this lock down period, then our system has to be ready to deal with them swiftly and effectively.

681 One Stop Centres (OSCs) @ Sakhi Centres, Women Helpline in 32 States/ UTs – 181, ERSS (Emergency Response Support System) – 112 are functional, providing a range of integrated services of Police facilitation, medical and legal aid, psycho-social counseling and temporary shelter. During this lock down, all this has assisted over 36,000 women so far.

Ujjawala, Swadhar Homes, Child Care Institutions have been running continuously with basic materials to fight Covid like soap, sanitisers and masks.

Women menstrual hygiene needs to be emphasised and around 6318 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are providing 40 women-centric products including subsidised “Suvidha” sanitary napkins at affordable price of INR1 per pad to women across the country. One Stop Centres are coordinating with them for this.

Take Home Ration (THR) has been distributed at the doorsteps of pregnant women and children by the backbone of our Ministry of Women and Child Development– i.e. the Anganwadi Workers and the Anganwadi Helpers. Undettered by the risk involved, they have been playing a crucial role in containing the spread of Covid-19. Many kudos and grand salute to all our very own Covid-warriors.

A number of Webinars and Video Conferences have been conducted on Safety, Well-being of women and menstrual hygiene for female migrants labourers. We also emphasise the fact that many more such Webinars should be conducted with the male participants and students to sensitise them in the right way as men need to be trained too for building a more diverse and inclusive environment and to handhold participants about “conflict resolution”.

Many helpline numbers have been made active during lock down at the request of Ministry of WCD by various institutions viz. NCW (7217735372), NIMHANS, Bangalore (080-46110007), IHBAS, Delhi (011-22574820/ 9869396824), NALSA’s Legal Aid (15100).

Further, dedicated Nodal Officers for each State and UT have been nominated so that “Cooperative Federalism” continues unabated.
Ministry of WCD is propelling the idea of Mobile OSCs, Mobile Anganwadis and Mobile Open Shelters and utilising the 13.8 lac Anganwadi centres as extended outreach services for migrant labourers especially females and children keeping in place all the social distancing measures and safety protocol. Inter-sectoral convergence with RWA, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will go a long way.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package has provided INR 500 per month to 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders. Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, free gas cylinders has been provided to 8 crore poor families which has also eased life for women to some extent.

Increase in collateral free lending from INR 10 lacs to INR20 lacs for women Self-Help Groups is also a small step in the right direction to empower women of poor families.

We should try to leverage all the opportunities in these times of crisis and we hope that the society learns to appreciate the fact that “peaceful co-existence” is the takeaway for all of us from this phase in our lives. The time is ripe for India Inc to take decisive and drastic steps which has been given a start with “Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”. We have made some progress but have miles to go.

May we come out with more wisdom and may our daughters, sisters, mothers and care givers get all the support, strength, safety and security which is due to them during this lockdown and in times to come.

Debasree Chaudhuri
Minister of State
M/o Women and Child
Development,
Govt. of India

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The Significance of Naga Plebiscite Day https://easternmirrornagaland.com/the-significance-of-naga-plebiscite-day/ Sat, 16 May 2020 18:19:34 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=312910 The 70th Naga Plebiscite Day Message – May 16, 2020 Dear Countrymen,Greetings to you all on this 70th Naga Plebiscite Day, the 16th May, 2020. On every important national day of the Nagas such as today, the foremost thing that comes to our mind is the gratitude to the Almighty God for His unceasing blessings and protection given to the Nagas all these years. May God continue to protect and guide us always. Every year as we commemorate this historic day, it is an occasion to observe with utmost respect and reflect on the significance and the important step taken by the Nagas of the day at the right time. The occasion is also to draw strength and inspiration to move forward, to remind us of the herculean task in organising and conducting this voluntary Naga Plebiscite led by the leaders of the Naga National Council (N.N.C.) beginning 16th. May, 1951 on the issue of whether to join the Union of India OR to remain in our age-old independence. It is pertinent to mention that the then President ofNNC, A. Z. Phizo was 47 years old at that time and most of his colleagues and associates were much younger. And...

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The 70th Naga Plebiscite Day Message – May 16, 2020

Dear Countrymen,
Greetings to you all on this 70th Naga Plebiscite Day, the 16th May, 2020. On every important national day of the Nagas such as today, the foremost thing that comes to our mind is the gratitude to the Almighty God for His unceasing blessings and protection given to the Nagas all these years. May God continue to protect and guide us always. Every year as we commemorate this historic day, it is an occasion to observe with utmost respect and reflect on the significance and the important step taken by the Nagas of the day at the right time. The occasion is also to draw strength and inspiration to move forward, to remind us of the herculean task in organising and conducting this voluntary Naga Plebiscite led by the leaders of the Naga National Council (N.N.C.) beginning 16th. May, 1951 on the issue of whether to join the Union of India OR to remain in our age-old independence. It is pertinent to mention that the then President ofNNC, A. Z. Phizo was 47 years old at that time and most of his colleagues and associates were much younger. And they were backed by the astute patriotic Nagas in every village and region. As a consequence, the result of the Plebiscite was overwhelmingly in favour to remain independent. This verdict is not erasable and is a sacred pledge given by the Nagas for one nation and for one Nagaland. Which the present generation and coming generations must cherish and uphold at all cost and at all time.

Looking back at the history of the Nagas from time immemorial, our forefathers never surrendered our land to foreigners and had passed on that legacy to the present generation. Prior to the aggression of India on Nagaland, the Nagas staunchly resisted the incursion of the British from 1832 to 1879. Where intermittent wars were fought here and there in the Naga country. The last battle was fought at Khonoma on 22nd November, 1879. In which the British force was led by Brigadier-General Nation. After a fierce battle, it is recorded that, “the Nagas retreated to a strongly fortified position”. The General unable to pursue them decided to follow the process of blockade. This had not deterred the Nagas that they organised themselves in good strength within a span of hardly two months and carried out a counter-attack on a British Tea Garden in Assam in later part of January, 1880 and “executed a most daring raid” and returned safely. This amazed the British. Having seen the resilience and determination of the Nagas they entered into a verbal peace agreement with the Nagas on 27th March, 1880 at Mezoma.

In a way, it is regretted that due to Coronavirus pandemic we are not able to celebrate the day in a grand manner as we used to in the past years. And yet, we should be thankful to God that we are protected from this dreaded disease. In this difficult and trying time of pandemic we are all learning important lessons of discipline, self-reliance and community living as a people. Let us continue to pray that this disease is shielded from us and it is removed from the face ofthe earth.
May God Bless Nagaland :Urra Uvie.

Adinno Phizo, President, N.N.C.

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Victory to Naga People https://easternmirrornagaland.com/victory-to-naga-people/ Fri, 15 May 2020 15:33:57 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=312759 Dear Naga People,Today, May 16, 2020 happens to be the 70th Naga Plebiscite Day, most glorious. In commemoration of this specially momentous day, I hereby send warmest greetings and prayers for enlightenment to all my fellow Nagas and offer my deepest gratitude to God Almighty. The auspicious occasion calls for another solemn retrospection of our eternally splendid history divine. It has been the most undeniable of facts that Nagas were inspired to declare our Independent status on August 14, 1947, one full day ahead of India! However, that hadn’t been one singular act left orphaned much by far. In actual historical fact; in order to further buttress and fortify the former Deed, our leaders called for a voluntary plebiscite and invited the general populace to feel free to participate in the event on May 16, 1951. This was done primarily to “once and for all times” silence most decisively, all the multiple varied atrocious claims and arguments perpetually emanating from the enemy. Also, it had been aimed at and profoundly achieved involvement of the people’s collective participation and responsibility bearing. As per schedule and under the aegis and patronage of the Naga National Council leadership, the historic Naga Plebiscite was...

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Dear Naga People,
Today, May 16, 2020 happens to be the 70th Naga Plebiscite Day, most glorious.
In commemoration of this specially momentous day, I hereby send warmest greetings and prayers for enlightenment to all my fellow Nagas and offer my deepest gratitude to God Almighty.

The auspicious occasion calls for another solemn retrospection of our eternally splendid history divine.

It has been the most undeniable of facts that Nagas were inspired to declare our Independent status on August 14, 1947, one full day ahead of India! However, that hadn’t been one singular act left orphaned much by far. In actual historical fact; in order to further buttress and fortify the former Deed, our leaders called for a voluntary plebiscite and invited the general populace to feel free to participate in the event on May 16, 1951. This was done primarily to “once and for all times” silence most decisively, all the multiple varied atrocious claims and arguments perpetually emanating from the enemy. Also, it had been aimed at and profoundly achieved involvement of the people’s collective participation and responsibility bearing.

As per schedule and under the aegis and patronage of the Naga National Council leadership, the historic Naga Plebiscite was held for and by the Naga people on May 16, 1951. The people came forth most voluntarily and pledged with thumb printing; for full Naga Sovereignty to the astronomical level of 99.09%. This figure far exceeded even the wildest expectations of the Naga leadership and left them virtually spellbound. In this wondrous way, the people’s mandate was conferred on the NNC most convincingly. God’s unfailing Hand could most evidently be observed to be actively guiding each and every single step of the Naga National Movement for freedom and total Independence; if one only cares to carefully peruse and honestly ponder.

Then came the imposition of the 1952 Indian General Election serving the Litmus test as to whether our August 14, 1947 Independence declaration and May 16, 1951 Plebiscite exercises were for real or otherwise.

The most irrefutable of fact is that Nagas were never Indians and would never be so, God forbid; and that Nagas are absolutely different from her and would ever remain so, God being our Adjudicator! To this righteous end the Naga leadership had all the while been most tirelessly endeavouring for our Independent Sovereign State in broad-day light most overtly; but wonder of wonders the Indian leadership; perhaps divinely beguiled, allowed and permitted the free and fair shaping of Naga Destiny to the tipping point of no return, most singularly unhindered! The Government of India did not take the Naga Aspiration seriously enough then (now?) and most casually took them to be like any ordinary Indian and tried imposing her election on the Nagas. But to her utter horror and consternation, she was presented with the most rude awakening; since the Nagas being who they always had been, had absolutely nothing to do with the meddling election; and not even a single vote was cast in its totality, the ballot boxes having been sent back eerily empty.

Could there be anything more absolute, be it mathematical and/or demographical than this equation to prove that the Nagas are never Indians – past, present and future? If this evidence is deemed not strong enough, Heaven knows whatever else will? This, behold, is the most profound of victories the Nagas have won over India morally, democratically and in every other possible consideration, for that matter.

What did India has to say next then? The reaction would shock and astound everyone alike; well perhaps except the refractory lot (just like then). On suffering such a devastating defeat; instead of accepting the most obvious in all humility and grace, she chose to harden her heart (familiar?) as all irrational savages do, telling the civilised world quite a lot of a sorry tale about her real self.

Hereupon, the Government of India decided to pursue the barbaric path of totally and deliberately ignoring the democratic rights of the Nagas in the most absolute. Why and how so perniciously so? World democracy says “all men are born equal” but ‘Hindu Indian democracy’ says that some are born high and some low according to the caste (class) system she not only harbours but also cherish most religiously too.

They regarded people like the Nagas as outcasts. They treated them with third class citizenship intent, called them “schedule tribe” or backward people incapable of looking after themselves and considered them to be hopelessly dependent on Government of India.

The Holy Bible contains the statement to the effect that even evil men do not give “a stone” when bread is asked for, nor “a snake” when fish is prayed for (Matt 7:9-11); the principle being only humane and logical – universally accepted.

But the Government of India behaved most contradictorily; sinistrality personified. When the Nagas dared to speak out her rights (bread) – she waged war and paid her with bullets – plenty of them. When the Nagas expressed her desire to be integrated under one umbrella and live in peaceful coexistence (fish) – Government of India resorted to drive them asunder, hunting them down like wild beasts and game birds, permanently displacing them most maliciously. She even went to the nefarious extent of forming unholy alliance with our unwitting neighbours (read Myanmar etc.) compelling them to refuse us the World-acclaimed legendary eastern Asian, age-old hospitality and shelter; and in actual fact, black-mailed them to even turn against us. Where in the World is India trying to drive the Nagas away to?

To the Nagas, India has become the very epitome of the unreasonable “dictator” country and one heartless “terrorist” country – judging by the draconian acts and actions having been perpetrated on the puny Nation of Nagaland with utter impunity thus far.

There is hardly any need to repeat that Nagas and India are at war for more than 70 odd years. In this period of time there has been more than 10 Prime Ministers to have come across our right Cause. But each and every single of these honourable personalities had chosen to ignore the Naga Case and kept the Matter “pending” most unjustly. One wonders as to how many more years the same would continue to be denied justice? Another 70 years, perhaps even longer? But there’s no telling what all dramatic changes, diplomatic and/or otherwise, would come our way within this span of time. Can the Government of India, “the champion of the down trodden people”; in her unfathomable wisdom and lofty statesmanship afford to wait and watch most precariously on?

Kindly be informed that as for the Nagas, we would most relentlessly march on and call out most ardently to God the Righteous Adjudicator, till our rightful Sovereignty is finally achieved sooner than later.

Long live Naga People. Victory to Naga People.
Thank you and KUKNALIM

Gen (Retd) Thinoselie M Keyho
President, Naga National Council

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Naga People Must Firmly Stand Together https://easternmirrornagaland.com/naga-people-must-firmly-stand-together/ Fri, 15 May 2020 15:32:04 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=312756 Dear Naga people,I am thankful to our Living God Jesus Christ for the Naga National Plebiscite Da which could once again be celebrated on this 16th May 2020 amidst the pandemic prevailing in the world. Thank you Lord for this democratic right of Naga National Day conducted by our leaders and people on 16th May 1951. On this day, I humbly salute the leaders, elders and people who successfully conducted the plebiscite on this historic day and as a result of which the democratic right of the Naga people could be established.And this right will stand and has become a strong political pillar for Naga freedom of sovereignty. I also salute all our people who solidly stand true to Naga political rights for sovereignty as a people and nation. The NNC also extend our gratitude to all the people around the world who support the Naga cause of sovereignty for so long in this beautiful part of the world. Today the entire world is greatly affected by the Novel Corona Virus causing immense suffering and impacting human lives largely as this infectious and contagious virus continues to spread throughout the world. It is truly heart breaking that today many people...

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Dear Naga people,
I am thankful to our Living God Jesus Christ for the Naga National Plebiscite Da which could once again be celebrated on this 16th May 2020 amidst the pandemic prevailing in the world. Thank you Lord for this democratic right of Naga National Day conducted by our leaders and people on 16th May 1951.

On this day, I humbly salute the leaders, elders and people who successfully conducted the plebiscite on this historic day and as a result of which the democratic right of the Naga people could be established.And this right will stand and has become a strong political pillar for Naga freedom of sovereignty.

I also salute all our people who solidly stand true to Naga political rights for sovereignty as a people and nation.

The NNC also extend our gratitude to all the people around the world who support the Naga cause of sovereignty for so long in this beautiful part of the world.

Today the entire world is greatly affected by the Novel Corona Virus causing immense suffering and impacting human lives largely as this infectious and contagious virus continues to spread throughout the world.

It is truly heart breaking that today many people have lost their lives to this virus and many are in danger and at risk. The virus is spreading more across the world, making human lives vulnerable and humanity at large is at stake.

This invisible and unseen virus has brought down Governments and peoples of the world at its knees, and the future is very uncertain at this point.
And the root of all this points to some certain Governments and Scientists who are responsible to have started this as a means to further their agenda of biological, economic and political supremacy and control.

And as a result of their terrible and wicked policy has created havoc and devastation throughout the world.

Therefore the Governments and scientists responsible for invention of this fatal and life-threatening virus must bear all responsibility and is answerable to humanity at large.

In the midst of this crisis and danger, the Naga people in particular and the North East in general must firmly stand together and co-operate in all fronts to fight and defeat this novel corona virus pandemic for prevention and survival of entire region.

Indeed, our Living God is in control and His grace and mercy will sustain and prevail for humanity at large.

Glory to God Almighty.Kuknalim.

Yillow Humtsoe,
Acting President of Naga National Council
(Parent Body)

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Coronavirus: Another chance to transform the global food trade https://easternmirrornagaland.com/coronavirus-another-chance-to-transform-the-global-food-trade/ Mon, 11 May 2020 17:06:12 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=312101 Rhonda Ferguson, York University, Canada For the second time this century, the interdependence of the global food supply is in sharp focus. In the first instance, the economic crisis of 2008 created high food prices and pushed an additional 100 million people toward hunger. For many, though, that crisis neither began nor ended in 2008. Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the fragility of the globalized system of trade in food is apparent again. In addition to conflict, climate change and impoverishment, COVID-19 threatens 265 million people with famine and billions with food insecurity. Hunger was on the rise in 2019 before the pandemic began. Despite ongoing calls for change, trade organizations and top food-exporting countries have yet to acknowledge that the current global food trade system is ill-suited to respond to local needs in an increasingly volatile world. In the years following 2008, Olivier De Schutter, the then-United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, argued that food trade should be restructured around the idea of food as a right — not merely a commodity. He advocated returning decision-making power to communities, investing in agro-ecological practices for our health and environment and moving away from a dependence on food...

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Harvesters work on a soybean harvest in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. (Pixabay)

Rhonda Ferguson, York University, Canada

For the second time this century, the interdependence of the global food supply is in sharp focus. In the first instance, the economic crisis of 2008 created high food prices and pushed an additional 100 million people toward hunger.

For many, though, that crisis neither began nor ended in 2008. Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the fragility of the globalized system of trade in food is apparent again.

In addition to conflict, climate change and impoverishment, COVID-19 threatens 265 million people with famine and billions with food insecurity.

Hunger was on the rise in 2019 before the pandemic began. Despite ongoing calls for change, trade organizations and top food-exporting countries have yet to acknowledge that the current global food trade system is ill-suited to respond to local needs in an increasingly volatile world.

Olivier De Schutter speaks to reporters during a news conference in Ottawa in May 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In the years following 2008, Olivier De Schutter, the then-United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food, argued that food trade should be restructured around the idea of food as a right — not merely a commodity. He advocated returning decision-making power to communities, investing in agro-ecological practices for our health and environment and moving away from a dependence on food imports.

In short, he argued in favour of transforming a system that was ineffective long before the price increases in 2008 were referred to as a crisis.

The same transformative opportunity is presented to us today.

Full COVID-19 impact still unknown

Encouraging predictable supplies and stable markets are the stated aims of the trade system. But markets are repeatedly destabilized when financial, energy or health challenges emerge.

While the full impact of the pandemic on food security is still unknown, it’s likely to take different shapes around the world.

The logistical challenges of moving food around the world during the pandemic are exacerbated by the globalized nature of supply chains. Disruptions to planting and harvesting due to illness outbreaks have an impact on food supplies, and restrictions on the movement of migrant farm workers compound the issue as well as reduce worker incomes.

It’s also clear that food availability is easily threatened in a trade system that encourages import dependence and export-oriented agriculture, but cannot require countries to export food.

For example, grain-exporting countries like Russia and Ukraine are restricting exports due to domestic supply concerns. These types of restrictions are detrimental to countries that depend on imported food.

Farmers bring in the harvest with their combine harvesters on a barley field near the village of Uzunovo in Russia in August 2010. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Restrictions also lead to price shocks; even if there’s enough food globally, it becomes inaccessible to many people. Even small price increases can push staple items out of reach. As in 2008, low-income people who spend large portions of their budgets putting food on the table are most affected.

Relying on international markets to balance supply and demand has led to food waste. This problem isn’t new, but it’s more pronounced during the pandemic. Because food production is a slow, seasonal process, it takes time to respond to shifting demands — and communicating demands is complex in long supply chains.


Read more: Why farmers are dumping milk down the drain and letting produce rot in fields


Global South left out

In response to the 2008 price spikes, tools were created to improve market transparency and policy responses in crises. But few countries from the Global South developed or participate in them — and many do not have the capacity to respond to market changes even if information is available to them.

New concerns over animal-to-human virus transmission could also have serious implications in domestic and international trade settings. Countries have curbed access to wet markets where wild animals are sold for the purpose of consumption. But if zoonotic spillover concerns are used to erect new food safety barriers, they’ll impact exporters in the Global South who are already disproportionately burdened by food safety standards set by the north.

It could also affect Indigenous peoples, who face challenges trading and sharing what is known as “country food” because of safety standards set by governments (and aligned with international standards). When food is produced, harvested and consumed locally, communities ensure culturally appropriate safety standards.

People feast on country food — whale blubber, Arctic char and caribou — in Iqaluit, while celebrating Nunavut’s 10 years as its own territory, on April 1, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Community food security organizations propose policies and undertake activities that are already transforming local food systems. International food agencies are also responding to challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

WTO opposed to local control over food

The multilateral trade focus has been on minimizing market disruptions, but fails to acknowledge that trade rules can impede local solutions. In fact, World Trade Organization leaders have actively opposed localized control over food systems; they have spoken against food sovereignty and self-sufficiency and failed to resolve disagreements over public stockholding, when developing countries purchase and stockpile food and distribute it to people in need. That’s despite the WTO admissions that food security is a legitimate objective.

The joint statement by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the WTO in March was a minor departure from the otherwise siloed approach to food in trade discussions, where food is positioned as an agricultural commodity, distinct from health, labour and the environment.

Michael Fakhri, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to food, sees the pandemic as a “warning shot” and says trade must be restructured around food security as climate change intensifies.

IEL Collective Conversation #5: Right to Food with the new UN Special Rapporteur Michael Fakhri.

Fakhri suggests that the right to food can be used as a tool for civil society to engage with trade institutions internationally.

Indeed, transforming trade so that it complements rather than displaces localized food systems is the key to recognizing and honouring the right to food for people all over the world.

Rhonda Ferguson, Research Fellow, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, York University, Canada

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Happy Mother’s Day https://easternmirrornagaland.com/happy-mothers-day-2/ Sun, 10 May 2020 17:33:22 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=311945 “God cannot be everywhere so he created mothers” – Jewish Proverb On 6th April 2020, a 48 year old Indian woman Razia Begum rode her Scotty from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh, more than 1400 km to bring back her 19 years old son Mohammed who was stranded due to corona virus pandemic which resulted to national lockdown. She drove more than 23 hours, day and night. She stopped only at oil pumps for about 15 minutes, to let Scotty cool down while she took her roti and sabzi which she had packed. On reaching the village, she rested at police station from 2:30am to 4:00am because she didn’t want to wake up her son in the middle of the night. She didn’t send her eldest son or anyone else to go instead of herself because police may not allow a man; she didn’t take her car because police may object to four wheelers. She didn’t know the route yet set out the epic journey without informing anyone because nobody would have allowed it. She exposed herself to all kinds of dangers, risking her very life. When returned, all were amazed. Some media persons call her hero. “She said that she...

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“God cannot be everywhere so he created mothers” – Jewish Proverb

On 6th April 2020, a 48 year old Indian woman Razia Begum rode her Scotty from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh, more than 1400 km to bring back her 19 years old son Mohammed who was stranded due to corona virus pandemic which resulted to national lockdown. She drove more than 23 hours, day and night. She stopped only at oil pumps for about 15 minutes, to let Scotty cool down while she took her roti and sabzi which she had packed. On reaching the village, she rested at police station from 2:30am to 4:00am because she didn’t want to wake up her son in the middle of the night. She didn’t send her eldest son or anyone else to go instead of herself because police may not allow a man; she didn’t take her car because police may object to four wheelers.

She didn’t know the route yet set out the epic journey without informing anyone because nobody would have allowed it. She exposed herself to all kinds of dangers, risking her very life. When returned, all were amazed. Some media persons call her hero.

“She said that she was no hero, just a regular mother who loved her son.” She added, “Despite the deep discomfort and long journey, it was my love for my son that kept me going. I would repeat it all in a heartbeat.” She was willing to go many times. She said she was not hero; true she is no hero because for a mother this is just another act, this is just one act, every day thousands of such sacrificial acts are done by mothers.

All of us have similar experiences the unexplainable love of our mother. For mothers there are no limits, no boundaries, no rules and no protocols when it comes to loving and protecting her children, her love transcends everything. She will bear any hardship, pain and shame; even ready to give up her life and some have even done that. We know in our families, most mothers go without basic necessities of life in order to provide their children a better life, a brighter future. They would go hungry; they would be the last person to take meals, last to go to bed, last to accept any privilege and first to rise for work.

Mother’s love is pure, it is unconditional; often we hear the love of mother is next to God’s love, I believe it is true. Mother’s love is so divine that is why she remains fondest and sweetest in our lives. We love our mother, we trust her and we avoid doing bad things for her sake. A priest once said; we will not commit sin if we do not do which we feel shy to tell to our own mother. That is true since her love is so divine, we dare not do evil things in front of her. Mother is the best teacher, the first teacher; she is an angel, the visible God on earth.

Dear mothers we love you, we honour you and appreciate you, and we truly acknowledge that your role is tough and your responsibility is big. And I warn you today, that your role will still be tough because I am still your imperfect son, daughter and husband. We are weak human beings with all the limitations, we are not angels. We will continue to hurt you, discourage you and even make you cry. But mothers, you can overcome all the problems because you’re strong, because you are with God; because you are woman of prayer. Mothers please continue to remain prayerful; “Your first role as a mother is prayer.” Prayer is your strength. God is your comfort. Jesus was touch by the cry of the mother and raised her son to life. Jesus raised the widow’s son at Nain. Lk. 7:13-14. ‘When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do no weep.” Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “young man, I say to you rise.” It was the cry of the mother that moved the heart of God, still today Mothers who cry before the Lord moves the heart of God. When mothers stop praying, their families perish. Hundreds of problems creep in day by day.

George Washington said, “My Mother taught me prayers.” Dear Mothers teach us prayers, teach us how to pray. Isaac Newton Mother prayed with her son everyday till he was 7 years, till her unfortunate death. He said; “I was born into the home of holiness, I was dedicated to God in my infancy”. Dear Mothers we want to kneel besides you in prayers.

We want you to hold our hands and lead us to the church. We want a praying mother, we want godly mother. As Abraham Lincoln said; “no one is poor who has a godly mother”. So only in your godly presence we are rich. Napoleon Bonaparte said; “As long as France has good mothers, it will have good sons”. Dear mothers continue to influence us, inspire us, and lead us closer to God. Most importantly continue to be the visible God for us because God cannot be everywhere.

Dear mothers Mother Mary the mother of Jesus is the best model for you; she overcame all her problems through prayers and constant union with her son Jesus. Imitate her virtues and her holiness. You will overcome all your difficulties if you constantly keep Jesus with you. Once again happy Mothers’ Day to you dearest mothers. God bless you all.

Rev. Fr. Jacob Chapao
jachapao68@gmail.com

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India: How Coronavirus Sparked a Wave of Innovation https://easternmirrornagaland.com/india-how-coronavirus-sparked-a-wave-of-innovation/ Tue, 05 May 2020 16:44:39 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=310977 Sreevas Sahasranamam, University of Strathclyde Entrepreneurs and innovators across India have responded quickly to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A host of new innovations, some emerging from start-ups that have been incubated by universities, have appeared in recent weeks. There are a number of reasons for the quick response, including the urgency of the humanitarian situation and a proactive approach to crowdsourcing ideas from the government. India also has a wealth of trained engineering talent and helps foster what’s called jugaad – a frugal innovation mindset to find hacks to problems with limited resources. Robots, apps and ventilators Around the world, social distancing and contact tracing have been the buzzwords of the response to COVID-19. A particular problem as lockdowns begin to ease will be how to stop the virus spreading in public spaces such as airports or bus stations. Asimov Robotics, a start-up based in Kerala, has deployed robots at entrances to office buildings and other public places to dispense hand sanitiser and deliver public health messages about the virus. Robots developed by Asimov Robotics are also being deployed in hospital isolation wards to carry food and medicines, which eases the pressure on medical staff. In early...

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Sreevas Sahasranamam, University of Strathclyde

Entrepreneurs and innovators across India have responded quickly to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A host of new innovations, some emerging from start-ups that have been incubated by universities, have appeared in recent weeks.

There are a number of reasons for the quick response, including the urgency of the humanitarian situation and a proactive approach to crowdsourcing ideas from the government. India also has a wealth of trained engineering talent and helps foster what’s called jugaad – a frugal innovation mindset to find hacks to problems with limited resources.

Robots, apps and ventilators

Around the world, social distancing and contact tracing have been the buzzwords of the response to COVID-19. A particular problem as lockdowns begin to ease will be how to stop the virus spreading in public spaces such as airports or bus stations. Asimov Robotics, a start-up based in Kerala, has deployed robots at entrances to office buildings and other public places to dispense hand sanitiser and deliver public health messages about the virus.

Robots developed by Asimov Robotics are also being deployed in hospital isolation wards to carry food and medicines, which eases the pressure on medical staff.

In early April, the Indian government launched a COVID-19 tracking app called Aarogya Setu which uses GPS and Bluetooth to inform people when they are at risk of exposure to COVID-19. The app was launched before a similar initiative from tech giants Google and Apple got off the ground.

Start-ups including KlinicApp and Practo, are providing COVID-19 tests at home and online consultation with doctors through their platform.

In response to the shortage of ventilators for critical care, start-ups such as Nocca Robotics (incubated at Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)-Kanpur), Aerobiosys Innovations (incubated at IIT Hyderabad) and AgVa Healthcare are developing low-cost, easy-to-use, and portable ventilators that can be deployed even in rural areas of India. These ventilators would need medical regulatory approval before they could be deployed.

Start-ups are also supporting the government’s public information campaign on coronavirus by developing technology platforms to disseminate government notifications. The Kerala state government launched an app called GoK-Kerala Direct using a platform developed by QKopy. It sends COVID-19 updates and travel information via phone notifications, and via SMS to older phones for the less than half of India’s population without smartphones. These messages are delivered both in English and in Malayalam, the local language.

The hygiene of public spaces is another area of notable innovation. Start-ups such as Aqoza technologies and PerSapien claim they have developed chemical formulations that disinfect public spaces. Aqoza’s approach, developed during an outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala in 2018, is a water-based sanitiser disinfectant, while Airlens minus Corona from PerSapien is a machine which the company claims dispenses ionised water droplets to oxidise the viral protein.

Another startup, Droom, claims it has come up with a special anti-microbial coating called Corono Shield, which inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, yeast, moulds, and mildew on the surfaces of vehicles. It is being tested by police in Gurugram in Haryana state.

Start-ups such as Marut Dronetech have partnered with state governments to test the use of drones to monitor adherence to social distancing rules. Drones are also being used to deliver medical supplies and even check people’s temperature using thermal imaging.

Connecting people

My conversations with some of these entrepreneurs and innovators from India have highlighted a good example of the triple helix model of innovation, integrating efforts between universities, industries (start-ups) and the government, in response to COVID-19. Although the active involvement of engineering volunteers from universities and industry is the lifeblood of these innovations, two other enabling factors are also particularly crucial.

First, the intermediary organisations helping to bring the three groups together. For instance, the national government’s Department of Science and Technology has set up a task force to map technologies developed by start-ups related to COVID-19. It is also funding start-ups to develop relevant innovations such as rapid testing for the virus.

Another example is that of the Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM), a government-supported entrepreneurship development agency. It launched initiatives such as “Breath of Hope” which brings together an interdisciplinary volunteer team of IT professionals, biomedical engineers and doctors to develop innovative medical devices. Start-ups such as Asimov Robotics and QKopy are part of KSUM.

Crowdsourcing ideas

Second, crowdsourced platforms have also proved to be an important channel for bringing together the wisdom from universities, industry and government. The national government launched the COVID-19 solution challenge on March 16 that invites innovators to offer ideas and solutions for tackling the pandemic. Industry associations such as the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry collaborated in an online hackathon to develop non-medical solutions for COVID-19.

Similar crowdsourced platforms from start-up incubators such as BreakCorona received 1,300 ideas and 180 product solutions within two days of launch. In another effort, volunteers have set up an online crowdsourced portal called Coronasafe-Network, a real-time open-source public platform containing details on COVID-19 precautions, tools and responses which serves as a useful starter-kit for innovators.

India needs to sustain and enhance this entrepreneurial mindset to create the next wave of innovation to continue the fight against COVID-19 and for the socio-economic recovery once lock-down restrictions begin to ease.

Sreevas Sahasranamam, Chancellor’s Fellow (Lecturer) in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Leadership, University of Strathclyde

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Use of Correct and Appropriate Concentration of Disinfectant https://easternmirrornagaland.com/use-of-correct-and-appropriate-concentration-of-disinfectant/ Mon, 04 May 2020 19:46:47 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=310826 Though I am not a professional in sanitation and public hygiene, being in a chemistry profession I would like to share to our esteem readers the appropriate concentration to be used while preparing the disinfectant. With the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, we see many frontline workers and other field workers in the municipalities sacrificing their life and are tirelessly working and sanitising all the potentially contaminated public places for the safety of our people. And with the partial relaxation of lockdown and with the advisory issued by the central and state government to ensure proper cleaning and frequent sanitisation of all the workplaces, it may not be within the reach of the professional sanitation team to sanitise all the public places, offices, institutions, colleges, schools and down to the village level community hall, panchayat hall, churches etc. Until a cure is found against this unseen novel coronavirus, all the frequently used places and potentially contaminated premises and areas, vehicles etc in all the districts need be cleansed frequently for general precautionary measures using products containing antimicrobial agents known to be effective against viruses. Although there is lack of specific evidence of the effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite against 2019-ncov virus,...

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Though I am not a professional in sanitation and public hygiene, being in a chemistry profession I would like to share to our esteem readers the appropriate concentration to be used while preparing the disinfectant. With the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, we see many frontline workers and other field workers in the municipalities sacrificing their life and are tirelessly working and sanitising all the potentially contaminated public places for the safety of our people. And with the partial relaxation of lockdown and with the advisory issued by the central and state government to ensure proper cleaning and frequent sanitisation of all the workplaces, it may not be within the reach of the professional sanitation team to sanitise all the public places, offices, institutions, colleges, schools and down to the village level community hall, panchayat hall, churches etc. Until a cure is found against this unseen novel coronavirus, all the frequently used places and potentially contaminated premises and areas, vehicles etc in all the districts need be cleansed frequently for general precautionary measures using products containing antimicrobial agents known to be effective against viruses. Although there is lack of specific evidence of the effectiveness of sodium hypochlorite against 2019-ncov virus, as per WHO report, the test carried out with SAR-Cov showed that sodium hypochlorite is effective. Therefore proper use of sodium hypochlorite bleach and other common disinfectants product should be made aware down to the local village level workers.

Household bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl is a strong oxidising agent. It denatures protein in micro-organisms and is therefore effective in killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Household bleach works quickly and is available at a low cost. Besides household bleach sodium hypochlorite, solid calcium hypochlorite commonly called bleaching powder or chlorine of lime [Ca(OCl)2] is also a type of disinfectant which produces hypochlorite.

Bleach irritates mucous membranes, the skin and airway, decomposes under heat or light and reacts with other chemicals. If mixed with acidic solutions chlorine gas is produced, and mixing with ammonia based solutions give rise to chloramines solution both of which contribute to toxic effects, and therefore caution should be exercised in the use of it. Improper use of bleach may reduce its effectiveness and overuse of bleach or using a bleach solution that is too concentrated results in the production of toxic substances which can be harmful to health, pollute the environment and disturb ecological balance.

Household bleach are available in different concentrations depending on the manufacturers such as; 3.5%, 5%, 5.25%, 6-6.15%, 10% sodium hypochlorite. The household bleach may contain upto 10% sodium hypochlorite, while industrial bleaches may be more concentrated upto 50% sodium hypochlorite. Due to inappropriate dilution or mixing, accidental exposures to chlorine are relatively common. Thus appropriate dilution of bleach is recommended for the disinfection of the environment.

-Always check the % conc. of sodium hypochlorite in bleach and accordingly prepare the desired % conc. of chlorine.

-Always use freshly prepared bleach solution, the effectiveness goes down on standing.

According to WHO guidelines and the MoHFW, Govt. of India, the chlorine concentration is recommended as 0.5% and 1% respectively for sanitising the outer surfaces etc.

The following chart may be helpful as ready reference for dilution/preparation of bleach to make the required % chlorine and be used for disinfectant (as per WHO & MoHFW, GOI)

-Precaution while Handling: Use PPE, Hand gloves, mask, Goggle or face protector

-Avoid: Mixing of bleach with acidic solution, it becomes toxic (e.g commonly used toilet cleaner harpic which is acidic )

-Side effect: Skin allergy, eye infection, sore throat , gastro intestinal problems

-Do not throw away bleach in the sanitary septic, throw the left over in the mud pit

Stay safe
Dr.T.Tiakaba Jamir
Chemistry dept, Kohima Science College, Jotsoma

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Some Lessons as We Prepare For ‘Lockdown 3.0‘ https://easternmirrornagaland.com/some-lessons-as-we-prepare-for-lockdown-3-0/ Fri, 01 May 2020 17:46:29 +0000 https://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/?p=310158 M.A. Kalam Covid-19 is a jolt to the way we work and live. The response, what the IMF has called “The Great Lockdown”, was a different kind of jolt. Now, the lifting of the lockdown will be a different kind of jolt and return to normalcy won’t be seamless. As we near the end of Lockdown 2.0, the question is about the nature of Lockdown 3.0. The government is unlikely to lift the lockdown across the nation in one go. More significantly, our commercial centres and some key urban cities, notably the financial centre of Mumbai, are unlikely to have any relaxation so that the partial restoration of the supply chain will pose problems of its own kind. Consider that of the 100 most populated urban wards in India, 43 are located in Maharashtra; Greater Mumbai alone accounts for 41 of these. In Gujarat, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara have 20, 11, and 10 such wards respectively, contributing a total of 41 of these. The rest of the country accounts for just 16 most populated urban wards. The denser the area, the higher the affected cases is the simple equation. Hence, Maharashtra and Gujarat will have to work out their strategies...

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M.A. Kalam

Covid-19 is a jolt to the way we work and live. The response, what the IMF has called “The Great Lockdown”, was a different kind of jolt. Now, the lifting of the lockdown will be a different kind of jolt and return to normalcy won’t be seamless. As we near the end of Lockdown 2.0, the question is about the nature of Lockdown 3.0. The government is unlikely to lift the lockdown across the nation in one go. More significantly, our commercial centres and some key urban cities, notably the financial centre of Mumbai, are unlikely to have any relaxation so that the partial restoration of the supply chain will pose problems of its own kind.
Consider that of the 100 most populated urban wards in India, 43 are located in Maharashtra; Greater Mumbai alone accounts for 41 of these. In Gujarat, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara have 20, 11, and 10 such wards respectively, contributing a total of 41 of these. The rest of the country accounts for just 16 most populated urban wards. The denser the area, the higher the affected cases is the simple equation. Hence, Maharashtra and Gujarat will have to work out their strategies on a completely different plane as compared to the rest of the country, both presently as well as in the post-lockdown context.

In effect, going by the figures that we have as regards the rate at which cases are being detected, treated, and the number of people succumbing to the disease in different parts of the country, it appears as though each State has to work out its own unique plan post this second phase of lockdown that is expected to end on 3rd of May. Also, the strategies have to be different for different geographic locations even in the same State as the urban conglomerates have entirely different density and settlement patterns as compared to the rural areas.
Just to give an example, the handling of migrant labour will necessarily have to be different in States that receive the so-called guest workers. Kerala has around 31 lakhs of them; other States have much less. But there have been no issues in Kerala in handling the migrant labour, whereas Mumbai and places in Gujarat have witnessed violent scenes. Kerala already had plans on hand while the other State governments have been found wanting. The point is, Central advisories in a blanket manner have little meaning. Micro level planning at each State level as regards various aspects has to be dealt with at that particular State level. We will need administrative ingenuity in different ways has to be shown in the post-lockdown situation.

We are in this kind of a situation because of mistakes, grave ones, made right from the beginning in delaying the suspension of international flights and in planning for the lockdown. Whatever the ostensible reasons, (whether hosting President Trump, end-February, and the toppling of the Madhya Pradesh Congress government, end March, were the motives or not), the right time to act was around the last week of January not the last week of March!

Testing, the most minimum, was started at the international airports of India quite late; around the second week of March. But then only thermal screening was introduced. All those who did not show any symptoms of fever were let go and those who had fever, some of which could have been unconnected with the coronavirus, that is, the false positives, were expectedly, isolated/quarantined. One cannot quarrel with that. On the other hand, a multitude were let go since they were asymptomatic. That is where the big mistake happened – those who went through the “green channel”, could have been carriers, and as it was realised later, they in fact were. These negative results through thermal screening were undoubtedly false negatives. The State woke up tardily and started searching and chasing these false negatives, from the lists of airline passengers, quite late. Meanwhile, it is not just likely, but for sure these false negatives have infected those they came in contact with. And those contacts have infected others in an ever-widening circle. That has been a colossal, and unforgivable, failure on the part of decision-makers in India. Currently, there are ongoing desperate measures to undo these lapses; but the cases they have to deal with have expanded tremendously due to the earlier lapses.

Also, the suddenness of the lockdown versus a plan to watch carefully, pre-announce steps and stop anxieties would have been a better way to rollout a complete stoppage of all economic activity. That would have ensured that the problem of migrant workers would have been minimised. The lesson we must draw form this is that sudden jolts are never good for people, administrators and the economy. Thus, the lifting of the lockdown, or its continuation in part where it is deemed necessary to stop the spread of Covid-19, should be transparently discussed and announced well in advance. This will keep people ready, administrators prepared and will allow for an adjustment with minimum anxiety and stress. It can help contain further disruptions.

We also need to be mindful of the terminology. “Social distancing” as a term has historically been used in India in the context of caste and the associated aspects of discrimination and untouchability. An appropriate and meaningful phrase is “physical distancing” which does convey that distance has to be maintained in the physical sense between those who interact.

We might consider that distancing is here to stay and will also likely change the way we work, travel and consume. These are huge behavioural changes that will probably impact the way we return to business and will influence the contours of our post-Covid growth. Many existing models will die and new ones are being written even as the epidemic chips away away at our existing globalised world order.

Dr MA Kalam is Dean — Administration and Regulatory Affairs, and Professor of Anthropology, Krea University.. Views are personal) (Syndicate: The Billion Press) (email: editor@thebillionpress.org

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