Health infrastructure in Narendra Modi’s India is collapsing first

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By: Krishna Jha

India has entered a new horror phase of Covid 19, which no other country has faced till now. According to reports, there are 3.16 lakh new cases, highest ever for any country. The number does not include those in Ladakh and Tripura, either the suffering or the dead.

The deep shadows are cast on the lifeline in the country. Till now India was one among the three highest Pandemic ridden countries in the world. Now it has moved even higher. There are pyres burning on the footpaths (in Ghaziabad), in green spaces (in Gujarat, despite its so called model state status), bodies piling up outside the mortuaries that are overflowing and the capital looks ghastly. Everywhere smell of death looms large.

Those suffering in hospitals, or homes, in isolation, which is a luxury or in crowds, even primary facilities are missing. Pandemic, understood to have entered stage of community spread, and oxygen getting scarce with every passing day, all measures of defence stand demolished.

The calamity has befallen our people because the government failed to act in time, said an investigation. It was only after eight months that bids were invited for over 150 oxygen generation plants costing just Rs 200 crore. It is now six months, and most of them are not even operational. There were the requests made by the chief ministers of Delhi and West Bengal urging PM for extra beds, oxygen and permission to buy drugs directly through state funds, they are yet to get any reply.

It is this passivity that has brought the crisis and people have started dying without even getting any help, and this makes those in power responsible for the unbearable results of the cruel centralisation. Discontent keeps simmering, as bereft of any help, the wide masses stand alone facing the horror of invincible Covid 19. There is no explanation coming for the gross negligence, hence there is no other option left except bringing serious charge against the government of politicising Covid-19.

It may be pointed out here that foreign portfolio investors managed to pull out Rs 4,615 crore from Indian markets since in April, as Covid19 had already started spiralling high. It led to consequent restrictions, scaring the overseas investors. Gold imports, which have a bearing on the country’s current account deficit, rose by 22.58 percent, which amounts to 34.6 billion dollar, about 2.54 lakh crore and all this due to increased domestic demand, as commerce ministry data showed.

Story does not end here. With little or no food to sustain, absolutely with no assurance for protection, toilers have started homeward exodus. Usually it is agriculture since all other livelihood avenues are shut due to Pandemic with unemployment conditions getting abysmal with every passing day. The rate of unemployment that was 6.9 percent, in February this year was much lower than 7.8 percent in the same month in 2020.  In January, India added 11.3 million persons in the number of unemployed. During first Corona explosion, unemployment rate in India rose to 8.4 percent in April-May. In the country comparison rate of unemployment, India ranks 86, and its unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent in the entire world, which is extremely gloomy performance.

Despite the bleak situation, when the massive crowds of working masses, with kids and seniors, and also the luggage they had accumulated during the years in Delhi, facing Covid -19 and also unemployment, both equally gruesome, there have been unspeakable hardships faced by them in the course of their homeward journey. With factories and workplaces shut, millions of migrant workers are made to deal with the absence of livelihoods. Whatever they had earned spent in primary needs, with nothing coming as income, hunger eroding not only little babies and old people, but also the able-bodied. Then there is the uncertainty about their future. Last time they had walked as they got stranded due to lockdown, but this time they are taking buses and trains that are already overcrowded.

But will the home front resolve the crisis? Till last year, rural economy stood sturdier than the industrial regions. But last year during lock down, the NDA government promulgated several ordinances, and among them three were for the agrarian sector. In fact, seventy-six bills have been passed as ordinances in the years of 2014 to 2021.

All the three ordinances that were to open the doors of our rural sector for the corporates and destroy the farmers soon became acts as soon as the Parliament started functioning with the brute majority the government had. Farmers refused to accept it and rebelled in their novel way. Their dharna, peaceful, and undeterred has been continuing for more than 145 days, on Delhi borders. The protest has spread over to other areas of discontent as well. There are the workers, students, and other masses, though angry, never resort to violence. The protest has spread over the entire country. Many of them perished during the movement, but they have not lost optimism. (IPA Service)

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