Ill Prepared for the Pandemic


Hundreds of migrant workers gathered to board buses towards their villages, at a Delhi Bus Terminal during a nationwide lockdown- File photo

People of India are well acquainted with the policies and priorities of Indian Govt. Exorbitant allocations  of funds to one department over other manifests lack of foresight and prudence of our political elite. Allocating less than 1% or thereabout proportionate of GDP on health and around 4% on education reveals how much India accords importance to these two vital sectors. No wonder there is shortage of ICUS, ventilators, laboratories, doctors, masks, testing kits and other critical care equipment when pandemic of an unprecedented magnitude has gripped us.

India is lagging behind due to wanton investment in other sectors like defence. India spends billions on procuring multirole jets it while spends peanuts on human capital. These jets are defunct now and can not help in the ongoing war against the crisis gripping India from one corner to another and not on borders alone.

What if incumbent union govt would have procured modern health care equipment like ventilators and crucial testing kits etc than spending millions on erecting statues of the dead leaders. What if they would have built more ICUs to lodge patients in pain, built more laboratories to reduce the delay time of test reports? 

Sudden and hasty lockdown in the country also was not a well thought out measure. It only exacerbated the problems of the ordinary citizens leaving millions stranded at different places across India. Govt didn’t provide these people with safe mode of travel before imposing the lockdown of an indefinite period. Subsequently people marched to their homes on foot in droves making them more vulnerable to the infection than they would have been in a situation without a lockdown.

We have innumerable instances when countries met with such calamities in the past but dealt with maturity and foresight with a proper strategy in place. Now we are left with no option but to oblige command of our authorities and cooperate with them. It is indispensable and paramount for us to stick to the rules prescribed, whether good or bad as we are left with no choice. Let’s stay home and  refrain from venturing out unless really urgent. Leave rest to God.

Sajad Malik

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