By Ashish Wagh at The Saish
Monday, March 23, 2020, Pune, Maharashtra, India : Safe is the word which seems to have disappeared from the English dictionary these days. And there’s a reason for it. The catastrophic invasion of a hidden yet dreaded enemy of mankind in the guise of a virus has rendered every living being to be anything but safe.
It is still under a debate as to where this enemy was born and how did it defy science of light and sound to wreak havoc with mankind. Statistics dumped on us through various sources are not helping but instead making me steadily inch away from being safe.
"Ek ek ko Chun Chun ke maarunga (I will finish each one of you)," is a famous dialogue from an epic Bollywood film which even today amasses audiences’ applause all over the world. Our latest enemy seems to be on the same mission of not sparing a single human being on this planet. No country, big or small, is spared from the mayhem it is causing. Be it the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia and down under.
We in India, with a human population of around 135 billion, are the ones who have begun facing the heat from a couple of weeks now. And, the RIP numbers are increasing by the day.
Frantic efforts are being taken by the government to contain the spread of this enemy which has been christened as COVID-19.
Healthcare in India, being not granted the deserved importance, is today making life difficult for the scores of health workers including doctors, nurses and other important support personnel. Not to ignore the added misery that these selfless angels are facing by not being provided even the most basic infrastructure and tools to "win over" the enemy.
The prime minister of India, a couple of days ago, made an appeal to the people here that they must laud the efforts of the healthcare workers who are leaving no stone unturned to arrest the RIP rate. India found solace and a imminent solution in the PMs words that they even agreed to obey him to observe a "Janta Curfew" (People’s Curfew) from 7 am to 9 pm IST on March 22, 2020. He exhorted that every Indian must clap, play music on food plates, ring bells and blow conches for five minutes to thank the efforts of the healthcare workers.
Even as he asked what Indians must do, the PM however did not enlist what he or his team would do to tackle this life threatening emergency and the optic, as scheduled / ordered by him was exhibited to the world yesterday evening after the 14 hour curfew which was lapped up with Section 144, a law that prohibits people to step out of their homes and congregate so as to avoid the spread of the virus.
Given the economic turmoil that India is going through for a couple of years now, every Indian is displaying tremendous enthusiasm to take efforts and make ends meet.
This was evident from the fact the very next morning, ie today, being a Monday, hit the roads to get to their work places. And, this happened across the country and took the protectors of the law not just by surprise alone.
In the State of Maharashtra where the number of those affected by the virus is going up by the hour, the incumbent State government is doing all that it can to inform and educate people about the grave situation that is in waiting if people don’t take precautions. However, polite suggestions and advice from the chief minister and his health department colleague seem to have not found any fancy with people.
This led to the law makers imposing an emergency in the State from this evening.
While all of the above are efforts to arrest the enemy before it comes knocking on each and every door, the populace for whom it is meant, has not yet taken it the way it should be.
Is this ignorance or pure attitude of not heeding advice from the government? Well, I would say it is the sheer casual approach. And this will help them to slide away from being safe and witness losing their dear ones even as they themselves will be risk prone.
I hope wisdom prevails and India heeds the warnings of a mayhem in waiting and learns from the mistakes of other countries which are going through their worst phase.
End of the day it is better to be safe than sorry.
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