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'We have Barricaded the Roads, But They Travel Through the Forest'

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

Q: What are your COVID-19 related tasks?

PEEO: My teachers are going for screening in the village along with the team of ASHAs, Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Auxiliary Nurse Mid-Wife (ANMs). We are also identifying people who have arrived in the village from outside, and are sending this report to the Panchayat and Block Chief Medical Officer (BCMO). On 4th April, we received an order instructing us to form committees of five people, and identify people who are showing symptoms of cold and cough.  

Q: Are you encountering any challenges?

PEEO: The arrival of people has not halted because most of these people are migrant labourers, and are coming from the cities. We have barricaded the roads, but they travel through the forest. They also hide information about themselves. 

Sometimes, when people don’t listen we have to take help of the police. 

Q: Have you observed shortages?

PEEO: The workers who are going to various households for screening are at-risk because of the shortage of sanitisers and masks in the market. The ration is being distributed, but I am not sure about the amount. People are also facing challenges because very few ration shops are open.  

*Note: In Rajasthan, the earlier post of Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC) which was created to provide academic support to teachers in elementary schools has been abolished.

The interview was conducted with a Panchayat Elementary Education Officer (PEEO) in Baran, Rajasthan in Hindi on 10 April 2020, and has been translated.

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