India is always said to be a nation that is known for its spirit to fight back and learn from the past. It is because of this spirit that we managed to gain Independence from the colonial powers. In the past 72 years, the nation has seen war, flood, drought, earthquake, terrorist attacks and has very bravely managed to normalize things and continue India’s road to development.
Once again, the nation is fighting a battle with an enemy that has killed more than 72,000 people in the USA, around 30,000 in the UK, and in total 2,57,301 human population to date across the globe. The enemy this time is a deadly virus “Covid19” also known as coronavirus that traces its origin from China. Unlike the countries which are presently witnessing a heavy death toll due to their late actions and undermining the virus that has been declared a pandemic by WHO, India imposed a nationwide lockdown on 22nd of March and with its extension has now reached to Lockdown3.0.
We can’t deny that the strict call to action by the Indian government has managed to restrict the death toll in India to 1,694 to date, however, the challenge ahead is a lot more alarming then what it seems to be.
Lockdown3.0 in which the nation has been divided into 3 zones particularly Red, Orange, and Green, wherein the Orange and Green zones have been given relaxations in the lockdown. The decision of opening liquor shops in all the zones for the revenue by many state governments points out to the end of state resource and need to generate income. States have admitted that due to the lockdown they are facing a crisis in funds to manage their states.
It is a harsh reality for us to admit that India, unlike the USA and European nations, cannot keep the lockdown for too long as it will lead to the hampering of the economy. Ours is a country with a large number of unskilled population, people migrate from one state to another for better opportunities to sustain themselves.
India’s budget on health care is a mere 2.6% of its total GDP, which accounts for one of the lowest expenditures by a nation on its healthcare. Every year, the nation accounts for 15% of total maternal death worldwide, and several people die due to seasonal diseases in many states. The doctor to patient ratio in India is 1:1457, which is the poorest in the world, and on top of it, a disease like a coronavirus highlights the miserable health infrastructure of the nation, which is reflected by the number of test’s done per day till now.
Even after 5 months of the disease hitting India, the target of achieving a 1lakhs test per day still seems to be a far fledged one.
The first lesson this deadly virus teaches India is that its high time that the elected government should change their priorities and focus on improving the Indian health infrastructure. A good amount of budget should be invested in providing feasible healthcare facilities to all the sections of society. Amenities like ventilators should be on the stock to fight any such pandemic in the future ahead. The most crucial investment a nation can do is by investing in its human resource by strengthening the health care amenities.
The second lesson this global pandemic teaches India is, that the Indian government which has for years neglected few states and just made them a source of cheap labour for states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, and other favourites of the Delhi crown.
This attitude needs to be changed, stories of labourers walking from the metropolitan cities to their villages on foot covering a distance of as long as 2000 kilometres were the talk of town amidst this pandemic. It’s high time that the state governments need to realize their responsibilities and work on stopping this inter-state migration by opening up job opportunities in their home states too.
One thing that will have a long-lasting impact on this pandemic is India’s economy. Zero work for more than 50 days has taken an economy that aimed at being a 5 trillion economy by 2024 two years back. The dependence of the Indian production sector on the raw materials as well as cheap finished products from its neighbouring country China has hampered the economy as well. Small scale industries which before the lockdown was facing a crisis, after the lockdown is now on its verge. The announcement of a special package by the central government is an attempt to add some energy towards the depleting growth rate.
The third and crucial lesson this global disease teaches India is that Indian economy should emphasize being self-reliant and self-sufficient. The lack of trust in China worldwide due to coronavirus allows India to invite companies around the globe to make India the manufacturing hub. It will not only provide enormous job opportunities to people but at the same time will boost the economy too. Home industries should be given all the liberty and resources as they will be the main factor in strengthening the economy too.
Human beings for years have used the natural resources and nature with utmost cruelty. In the race to human development, one thing which has been affected the most is mother Earth. In the wake of development, we converted thick dense forests into populated residential colonies, for setting up factories we have changed the course of rivers, to meet our need for electricity we have built dams on rivers controlling their flow and many other things. In the name of cleaning our rivers, the government has wasted billions of rupees, yet the result has remained the same.
Therefore, the fourth and most crucial lesson this pandemic teaches India along with the rest of the world is that restricting nature is the biggest crime humanity can do. Nature has the power to regenerate itself, and the happiest example of this is that out of 26 locations were river Ganga water has been tested, at 16 locations the water has been declared fit for drinking. People need to learn from this and make sure that once the routine starts at getting normal, we should try to keep our environment, our rivers the way they are now rather than making rivers drain again and the environment polluted.
The final learning this global crisis teaches, not just to India but to humanity around the globe, is the chapter of trust, faith, kindness, and helpfulness. Lakhs of people have died and we humans who claim to be the smartest couldn’t save them. The pandemic gives a hard-hitting realization to mankind than all the wars we fight to win territories, to rule people are of no use because when nature hits, it hits so hard that even the most powerful nation couldn’t save its people from death.
Hence, peace, faith and kindness should be the motto of mankind. Countries around the globe should help each other, be a part of each other’s growth and development. War, terrorism, and the race to be a nuclear power is of no use if people itself are no more. Thus the mantra of mankind should be,
May all become happy, all be healthy and free from illness. May all see what is auspicious and may no one suffer in any way.