As India observes a 21-day lockdown after Prime Minister rallying call to stay indoors to break the chain of transmission, the countrymen have been stepping up and following the orders diligently. Heartening news stories have been coming from all around and especially the villages of the country. The villagers appear to have been highly influenced by PM Modi’s speech last Tuesday night and have been leading from the front for the country to see.
According to a report in The Indian Express, a village in Ludhiana named Hawas has taken the lockdown to another level. With the COVID-19 outbreak and curfew imposed in Punjab, it is nearly impossible to enter the village. Forget an outsider, even if one has a friend or a relative living there, it is difficult to roam around.
While on the main road leading to the village, barricades have been put up with youths keeping a vigil, on two other roads iron angles have been put as barricades. On the fourth road, trolleys have been parked as barricades, restricting entry of outsiders. This is the villagers’ way of going into self-quarantine to protect themselves from the novel Wuhan Virus.
To ensure a constant supply of daily use items the village has already put up a system to deliver groceries and medicines at the doorstep. The villagers have also arranged a fogging machine to disinfect the village while hand sanitizers are being provided to all residents.
A tweet has emerged from a village in Ranchi where the villagers have self-isolated themselves by using barricades and boards advising people to stay away and stay in their homes. Another example of a community taking things seriously and making it work together earnestly.
रांची से सटे कुछ ऐसे गांव हैं जिन्होंने स्वत:पूरे गांव की बैरिकेडिंग कर दी है. गांववालों का कहना है कि जब पीएम ने हाथ जोड़कर हमसे घर में सुरक्षित रहने की अपील की है, तो हम कैसे उनके आदेश की नाफ़रमानी कर सकते हैं.#CoronavirusLockdown pic.twitter.com/QnrtOQ5S6s
— Prerna Sharma (@Kumariprerana12) March 26, 2020
The state of Bihar, notorious for flouting rules has also seen an inspiring story of village Khajuria. The villagers of Khajuria in Harnatand Panchayat of West Champaran district of Bihar have gone down into a self-imposed lockdown.
The villagers have blocked all three roads connecting Khajuria village with big logs of wood and bamboo. The routes are being routinely patrolled by the villagers. They have imposed a complete ban on their exit and of any outsiders entering the village. The vigilantes are instructed to prevent anyone from leaving the village unless there is an emergency.
Krishna Mohan Prasad, a teacher of Khajuria village, says that after the announcement of lockdown in the entire country for 21 days by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night, the villagers on Wednesday sealed the entire village after mutual consent outside the village.
While in many areas of Bihar, the administration has to enforce the people to follow the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of infection of Wuhan Virus, the case of Khajuria village is no less than a miracle.
So far six people have been identified with the virus in Bihar of which one person has died. To date, a total of 1228 passengers have been put on surveillance in Bihar, the highest number being 183 people from Gopalganj. Of these 162 people have completed their 14-day period.
The 21-day lockdown period is extremely crucial for culling transmission of the virus and stopping it from entering the deadly third phase. The cases all around the globe have been rising at an exponential speed and India cannot afford such spurt. The case-study of these villages gives a glimmer of hope that we are waging an all-out war against this invisible enemy approximately one billionth small in size than the humans.