Skip to main content

Lockdown: Combatting misinformation from WhatsApp university, other media

By Rohit Prajapati*
Lockdown. Lockdown is a statement in it itself. It encompasses strategies, methods, time-period, plans, and tools for helping and managing people’s behaviour in such extreme situations in a country, state, or other units of governments. From locking a house to businesses, to industries to neighbourhoods, and even to the entire state or country, there is a different way to go about implementing lockdown in each of them.
Each situation presents its own peculiarities to achieve the main goals of a lockdown and to prevent chaotic situations and panic. Each situation requires its own detailed short and long-term plan, well-thought strategies including fall-back plans based on various “what-if” scenarios, resources, and multidisciplinary expert’s teamwork.
Review of the ground level information, conditions, and feedback from people at regular intervals are also very crucial and a must. Try experiencing the Lockdown with an empty stomach, and uncertainty not for one day but for coming months. We the People -- at Home, without Home on Footpaths, Migrants, Workers of Informal Sector, Self-Employed, Unemployed, Underemployed -- Belong to Different Castes, Religions and Class; each one facing common but distinct problems in the times of Covid-2019.
Adhoc imposition of Lockdown, Partial Lifting of Lockdown and Complete Lifting of Lockdown may prove to be disastrous. Adhocism in any situation is always a problem and the systems need to and can find the appropriate solutions.
Partial and complete lockdowns need to be well defined. Status and logistics of various basic services -- healthcare, education, financial services, food storage and supply (including vegetables, milk, and its products, cereal, etc), agricultural activities, the supply and handling of products required for healthcare and other essential services, police services, legal services, fire-water-sanitation, funeral services and other municipal services (water supply, sanitation, and solid waste disposal), transport services, distribution services (medicines and food in particular), news and media services, and such -- will have to be defined in partial and complete lockdown.
Guidelines for home quarantine, hospital quarantine, isolation will have to be prepared. The people engaged in different activities will have to be kept in mind, e.g. homeless people, workers of informal sector, migrant workers and their family, self-employed, domestic workers, security guards, etc.
It is time for experts with on-ground inputs and key stakeholders to initiate meaningful discussion at state and national level
This is a national crisis and the entire population is affected. Hence, there is need for an agile consultation process before taking decisions. Empty stomachs of millions of unemployed, marginalised poor people, and millions of migrant labourers who have been stranded in worksites across country, unable to return home, desperate to survive with no rations, cash and access to medical facilities, cannot be ignored.
Thus, it is quite apparent that in such a situation of a lockdown, information and its implementation needs to be a disseminated as comprehensive, coordinated, and well spelled out document, regulations that has many details. This document is not a defence secret and that is why people have a right to know about those details. These short-term and long-term details should be worked out with inputs from the grass-root stakeholders and should be announced in a timely manner.
This will help minimise the anxiety of all the concerned people, including the emergency service works of all types and those who are affected by it physically, mentally, socially, and financially. If the people do not have apprehension because of lack of information, lockdown will be very effective in terms of its implementation and desired outcomes.
It provides the ground for a meaningful discussion in right direction to make it more effective and transparent. In all this process, transparency and open and timely communication are very crucial. They help us to plan for partial lifting and even complete lifting of a lockdown with possibly most positive results.
It is time for experts to initiate a meaningful discussion on this issue at state and national level. It is time for experts with the inputs of on-ground personnel and key stakeholders to initiate a meaningful discussion on this issue at state and national levels and help minimise the misinformation from “WhatsApp University” and other media.
---
*Environment activist, researcher and writer

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

JP advised RSS to give up Hindu Rashtra, disband itself: Ex-IAS officer tells Modi

Counterview Desk
Major MG Devasahayam IAS (Retd), chairman, People-First, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of Jayprakash Narain’s (JP’s) death anniversary (October 11) has wondered whether he remembers “a patriot called Jayaprakash Narayan”. Recalling what JP thought on issues such as communalism, freedom, democracy, Hindutva etc., Devasahayam says, Modi has been been doing “the very opposite of the principles and values for which JP lived and died.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

UP chief secretary, DGP have 'surrendered' to political diktat: 92 retired IAS, IPS officials

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, 92 retired IAS, IFS and IPS bureaucrats, commenting on “blatant violations of the rule law” following the Hathras incident, have blamed that the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police for abjectly failing to exercise control over a “highly compromised” administration the state.

Hathras reflects Manu's mindset dominates: 'Women are false, it's in their nature to seduce'

By Parijat Ghosh, Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
The woman died and then we woke up to protest. She was alive for two weeks after the heinous incident. Many of us even didn’t notice what had happened at Hathras, how she fought during the next 15 days. Those who noticed, many of them were not sure what actually had happened. So much so, we as a nation were more busy in finding out who among the Bollywood actresses were taking drugs, who smoked weed, who had ‘inappropriate’ or more than one relationship, what kind of private conversations they had in their chat boxes and what not!

Gujarat literati flutter: State Akademi autonomy curb a Sahitya Parishad poll issue?

By Dankesh Oza*
The 115-year-old Gujarati Sahitya Parishad is in election mode. More than 3,000 life members of the Parishad are set to elect its 52nd president and 40 plus central working committee (CWC) members, which in turn will elect its executive and two vice presidents, six secretaries and a treasurer for the coming three years (from 2021 to 2023).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Atrocities against Dalits: Why don't MPs, MLAs from the community ever speak up?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
In Gujarat, a young Dalit activist lawyer Devji Maheshwari, belonging to the Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation (BAMSCEF) was killed in Surat, allegedly by a goon who was warning him against his Facebook posts not to speak up against Brahmanism. Facts have come to light suggesting there are other issues also which led to the murder, mostly related to land disputes, many a time ignored by activists.

Delhi riots: Even British didn't accuse Bhagat Singh of reading Lenin, Jack London

By Vikash Narain Rai*
After the #BlackLifeMatters movement seriously tested the credibility of police across America, the Houston police chief Art Acevado talked of ending “lawful but awful” policing. No comparison, but in India, a citizens’ committee comprising former top judges and bureaucrats is now set to inquire into the role of the state machinery and media in handling the February 2020 Delhi violence, which followed protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), “as the investigation by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.”