Naveen’s Govt is a Govt of Life
Bhubaneswar: Today we are in a world that is fighting a war with an invisible enemy about which a little is known. There has been significant loss to mankind from this unknown adversary. While saving lives is the priority at this juncture, caring the disadvantaged with a human touch is the call of the hour. Governments around the world are trying their best to contain the disease and are on the verge of success.
The biggest challenge today for a country like India is to manage the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. The nation is in standstill mode and every activity is paused thereby impacting the livelihood of millions of people. Whether it is industrial activity or agriculture, everything is affected by the lockdown and millions of people are today staring at an uncertain future. Today time has come for the Governments at helm to do the needful for the needy and work for an equitable society with care and concern.
When discussing about the fight against Coronavirus by various administrations and governments throughout the world, there are a number of examples which inspire us about their ability to manage the affairs. Odisha, led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is one such state that has approached the crisis in a truly positive spirit and has successfully demonstrated that disciplined management of the problems can be tackled easily.
Justifying the second edition of the statewide lockdown till April 30, 2020, to continue with the long drawn war against COVID-19, CM Naveen Patnaik observed that his government is committed to accord more importance to human life than economy. His emphasis on life, livelihood and living has been appreciated by one and all.
Due to his suggestions during the Prime Minister’s meeting with the Chief Ministers, Sramik Special trains were run to bring back migrant labourers, students, pilgrims and those who were stranded due to sudden lockdown back to their states. In his governance ethics humanism stands out unmistakably. He has crafted a new language of governance: Government of Life.
CM Naveen Patnaik’s able leadership has all the ingredients for successfully facing the challenges. The government has shown that with proper planning and coordination with foresightedness, crises can be handled with ease. Believing in the principles of people’s government, Naveen’s government has been working as a government of life.
The initial proactive steps taken by the Odisha government when the Coronavirus was about to expand in the country have helped a lot in containing the spread of the disease. The government declared lockdown in the state much ahead of the central government and thereby took the fast mover distinction. The strict implementation of the lockdown norms in the state has its positive impact with Odisha recording a small number of positive cases today. The subsequent extension of the lockdown in the state were also successfully implemented and the government left no stone unturned to facilitate all essential items to the people during the lockdown.
Determination Stronger Than Challenges
The biggest challenge for the government of Odisha was the millions of migrant Odias working in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamilnadu. The government estimated that about 5 lakh people will return to Odisha due to the lockdown and they have to be facilitated. The foresight of Naveen’s government about the plight of the migrant workers led to setting up of isolation centers in each and every Panchayat. Facilities were made for keeping the returning migrants in isolation with dignity. The government also made provisions for safely bringing the migrant workers and appointed nodal officers in various states to coordinate. It worked well and today more than 20 thousand migrants are back home and are staying in designated quarantine centers. The lockdown was justified as it was for protecting life over livelihood for some time as a part of defending Right to Life as enshrined in the Constitution of India. For saving lives, we have to take some tough decisions.
Involving PRIs To Manage the Quarantine Centers
The quarantine centers set up in each and every Panchayats of the state have become the centers of life for the migrants. The members of the quarantine centers today are happy for coming back to the state and being provided with the best facilities. The centers have become instruments for better life and not as breeding centers of the disease. Whatever numbers of positive cases detected in the state are found from people who came back to the state from other states and they have been identified on time. The crisis management mechanism has been actively perusing each and every Coronavirus case in the state and thereby assuring us that everything is under control.
The Odisha government acted proactively and made facilities for providing all essentials for the people who stay in the quarantine centers. Starting with a personal hygiene kit to healthy fooding, the centers are giving the inmates an opportunity to learn the life lessons. These centers have transformed into community institutions and are helping sustain lives in this critical time.
Naveen’s decision to help the lakhs of migrant workers from other states has a human touch without any compulsion. The people living in other states are an integral part of the state and they need to be protected at this time of need. It is with this motto that the administration has facilitated the return of people and more than 4 lakh people are expected to return back to the state. The meticulously planned process has been successful as all the returnees are safely staying in the state quarantine centers.
Early Decision Effective Containment
As the thrust was on early set up and completion of the quarantine centers in all the panchayats of the state, senior bureaucrats were actively pursuing the efforts and today we can see a systematic approach to the migrant returnee issue. The administrative machinery led by Chief Secretary, Development Secretary, Secretary to CM-5T initiatives and other officials has shown that Odisha can make it happen. The continuous follow up by the 5T Secretary of various projects related to Covid-19 helped timely completion thereby saving precious time.
Life With Dignity
There are apprehensions in some people that the government has taken a wrong decision by facilitating the return of the migrants and setting up of quarantine centers in Panchayat levels will aggravate the condition in the state. But in fact this is totally absurd. If the government had not made such an effort, people would have returned illegally and there would not have been any proper action. The situation would have been very difficult to contain. There has to be free large-scale testing and hospitalization, provision for essentials of life which would not have possible, had these migrant Odia labourers left without any help. Like a true leader, in spite of the criticism by some sections of people, Naveen Patnaik came forward and took early steps to bring them back to the state.
Today the migrants are happy to be in their home state. They have to wait for three weeks to return to their homes healthy. They are now going to fight the Coronavirus as they will be trained by the government to create awareness in the society as health workers. The efforts by the state government led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik are for a dignified life which should be the right of every citizen in a democratic country.