Q: What are your COVID-19 related tasks?
Sarpanch: In every Ward, we have made a team that consists of the youth who can use social media, and we are raising awareness about the virus in the village. We are also identifying people who are arriving from outside and are quarantining them. Through Bhamashahs [donors] we are providing ration to poor households.
Q: Are you encountering any challenges?
Sarpanch: Some people are playing politics amidst this crisis. The people who are in my opposition, are trying to mislead the villagers and ruin all our efforts. The good thing is that various government officials and workers are working together towards fighting this pandemic.
Daily wage labourers are facing financial distress due to unavailability of work, and they should get the benefits of government policies. However, there are many well-to-do households here who are taking unfair advantage of these policies.
Q: Have you observed shortages?
Sarpanch: We have not yet received masks or sanitisers from the government. There is a woman from Bihar who lives in our village and knows stitching. She has delivered 150 cloth masks, and has also promised to make more should the need arise.
This interview was conducted with a Sarpanch in Udaipur, Rajasthan on 9 April 2020 in Hindi, and has been translated.