Logistics across the country is not the central government’s strong suit. This time, the central government has given the responsibility to the state governments and I think this was required, said Ved Arya, Founder of Rapid Rural Community Response to COVID.
“For example, the oxygen concentrators are arriving from abroad and we needed to run a system like FedEx or Amazon to transport them in time. That infrastructure is not in place. This is where cooperative federalism was really needed, whatever central and state relations may be, (they) should have acted like one nation.
Oxygen concentrators were needed a month ago when we didn’t have enough, but now we have an excess of everything,” he added. Arya was speaking at The New Indian Express’ online event COVID Think Tank on The Cost of Lockdown: What Could We Have Done. The session aired on June 15. He was in conversation with Senior Journalist and Author Kaveree Bamzai.
Speaking about some lessons that we have learnt from the first wave, Arya said, “The foot soldiers during these times are the community resource persons such as women leaders of the self-help groups. When the number of ASHA workers are inadequate, when the rural health infrastructure is inadequate, then the people’s own representatives will make the country more atmanirbhar.
We also learnt that we are not prepared for such destruction. Last time, the destruction was in the form of migrants returning home, but this time it is migrants returning with the virus. COVID is no longer restricted to urban centres.”
Join us in a LIVE conversation with @VedArya1958 as he talks about ‘The Cost of Lockdown: What Could We have Done' in #COVIDThinkTank.@SavlonIndia @Eventxpress @PrabhuChawla @gsvasu_TNIE @Xpress_edex @kavereeb https://t.co/sqb1Lvz81T— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) June 15, 2021