I am of the opinion that weekly curfews are a must in Delhi, the national capital, if the impact of COVID-19 cases has to be balanced and checked. The shortage of resources, material, and manpower continue to further accentuate the crisis. In most of the city hospitals, beds have been reserved for those with severe cases, and the rest with milder symptoms of the new strain of this deadly virus are being advised to self-isolate at home and quarantine themselves.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal can be seen singularly handling the situation, from taking cabinet briefings to organising interactions with officers and bureaucrats in public interest. This is despite the fact that the Centre has been gradually clipping the limited powers of the Delhi government viz the authority of the Lieutenant Governor, who although can reign, but not rule. Though Kejriwal has been repeatedly asking for their aid and advice, it seems that the ideological confrontation is far from being over between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Centre.
I do not understand why vaccines are not being made available at health centres and facilities. Why is it that accurate testing data is not being made public? What does the administration fear? Who will address these shortcomings? I remember how my visit to one of the COVID-19 dedicated Rajiv Gandhi Superspeciality Hospitals turned out to be during the absence of enough Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds. People were literally begging to get admitted, however, the least attention was being paid to their worries and woes.
For an ‘aam aadmi’, hardships become something which need to be graciously acknowledged and appreciated, as privileges are exclusively reserved for a certain bracketed category, and not everybody is fortunate enough to be born into it. Social exclusion is a very real thing and an accepted treaty for perpetuating dismay and disparities responsible for resistance and rebellions. In this regard, the State has to become the referee by ensuring the rights and dignity of the marginalized and underprivileged.
Free ration scheme by the Delhi government looks fine but more has to be undertaken in close cooperation and collaboration with the Centre, articulating the aspirations of a million migrants deprived of their being and sense of belonging, ending up being physically and psychologically troubled and traumatized as can be sensed from around us. As citizens, they should be a priority with regards to equity, and there is no denying this fact. Thus, it is binding for political parties, leaders, and representatives to pursue them with utmost sincerity and seriousness and not pander to them as vote banks.
The need of the hour is to formulate and implement such schemes and measures for empowering them, and not just eyewash. I sincerely hope that both Kejriwal and Modi realise these views and socio-political observations. Jan Dhan, Ujjwala, Mohallah Clinics etc won’t do much without the implementation of further schemes and routine follow-ups.