Osama Manzar, Founder and Director of DEF spoke with Imtiaz Ali- who is a Digital Foot Soldier of DEF. He is working on the ground in Rustampur, Bharatpur and helping the villagers in providing financial services in the time of crisis.
“Rustampur has a population of 500 people and 2 COVID-19 positive cases have been reported. People are panicked and there is an atmosphere of fear in the village. The villagers are under the assumption that the lockdown will continue for the whole year.
Bharatpur, comes under red zone and Rustampur is declared a hotspot. People are in closed doors, and the money from several government schemes credited in people’s bank account is being distributed by the banking correspondents at their respective doorsteps. Around Rs 50 lakh— including the amount credited from various government schemes have been distributed.
Majority of the families in the village are into agriculture and so far there hasn’t been any food crunch. There is sufficient stock of dry ration in every family, but the cost of perishable items such vegetables, milk have shot up. Due to this people are troubled as the basic essentials have become expensive.
The people in the village are misinformed and rumours about COVID-19 pandemic are adding fuel to the fire. The misinformation should be busted. We are spreading awareness and educating people in the best possible way and it is important that irrespective of the community people belong to, the disease should be taken seriously.”