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No essential items in remote Saurashtra villages; workers 'at risk' at top private port

Pipavav port
Counterview Desk
In a letter to the Gujarat chief secretary and the chief executive officer, Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), Ahmedabad’s top civil rights organization Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has given specific instances on how common people in Amreli district of the Saurashtra region are suffering because of the failure to implement a corona disaster management plan under the current lockdown conditions.
The letter, a copy of which has been sent to the Amreli district collector, also points to how social distancing guidelines are being openly violated at the high-profile Pipavav port, and how remote villages are unable to get any supply of essential items.

Excerpts:

It has come to our knowledge from the village of Thoradi, Taluka Savarkundla, Amreli district that the vegetable traders are ordering vegetables worth Rs 10,000 to 12,000 but due to closed auctions those vegetable stocks are deteriorating.
So, in such situations the district collector should give orders that by the use of transportations they buy the vegetables directly from the farmers and distribute them directly so that the farmers will not suffer major losses and the shortage of vegetables in the market won’t be created.
Dhirubhai Ravjibhai Unawa, who is currently in Chataria village of the Dhuri taluka, but lives in Abhrampura village of Savarkundla Taluka as a labourer, is not getting ration because of lockdown and there are number of such laborers living in each village. It is a request to do survey by anganwadi or Asha workers and make arrangements for their ration from respected village.
In Savarkundla taluka, it has been observed, farmers have sown the winter crop due to which many farmers' wheat and chickpeas are growing in the field. Due to lockdown, farmers are neither able to go to the farms nor able to kept them safe in the farms.
Such a situation may lead to huge losses to the farmer. So, it is a request to make an arrangement of government vehicle that can be used as a transportation for farmers to reach at farm, this work can be completed within some days.
In every Public Health Centre (PHC), order should be given that, if a woman comes for delivery, delivery should not be denied and every arrangement should be made. By field experiences it has come to our knowledge that in Loki village, Liliya taluka, Ashaben Batukbhai was taken to the Liliya PHC, and she was denied admission for delivery and asked to go to the Amreli Civil Hospital, where too admission for delivery was denied.
She was asked to go to Bhavnagar. Considering the emergency situation of the woman they went to the Private Radhika Hospital and the admission cost amounted to Rs 40,000. It is the responsibility of the government to take care that such kind of situations won’t arise.
Sikandarbhai, who runs a small grocery store in Amba village, Liliya taluka, says that many people working in the village cook food after buying grocery from outside the village. Due to the lockdown, people in the village buy grocery from his shop, but the stocks have now been exhausted. He cannot go to the city to purchase goods. In such a small village arrangements for grocery and ration should be made.
Shiyalbet island
In several villages – Saldi, Punja Padar, Nanalilia, Gundaran, Bhoringada, Loki (in Liliya taluka) and Khakariya, Kotada Peetha, Untvad, Nilwada, Nawaniya, Charakha (in Babra and Chittal talukas) – anganwadi sisters and Asha workers are not provided masks or sanitizers. This threatens the safety of these women.
In villages of Liliya, Babra and Chittal talukas anganwadi and Asha workers have no masks or sanitizers, which risks their safety
Talking to the Safai Kamdar Area of Chittal village of Amreli taluka, it was found that drugs and medicines were being sprayed in other areas, but were not in their area. Sanitation workers are serving as day labourers, yet no safety equipment is provided to them.
There is a health sub-centre in Khakhriya village, but not enough medicines are available here. Arrangements for the same should be made, and likewise enough stock medicines in every sub-center and PHC should be ensured.
More than 3,000 people are currently living in Shiyalbet island in Jaffarabad taluka. The ration shop has not been opened in this village, so food supply is not available to the people. The village is an island, so all the food supplies are brought in from outside.
Since food has to come from outside, the situation is going to get worse in the coming days. Even gas cylinders are brought from Jafarabad, which is 40 km away, on the mainland. The island should get special attention for providing regular supplies.
Work is underway at the Pipavav Port, and there are more than 500 labourers in Rajula and surrounding villages. The workers are concerned about their own safety, but the order of Collector Amreli has continued to make the port work as a necessary service.
These 50 labourers travel in the same bus, which gives rise to the possibility of infecting each other, and hence the port should be closed immediately, child labourers should be quarantined and necessary relief supplies should be provided.
People of Una taluka’s Tad, Deshar, Kalapan, Delvada, Anjar, Paldi Pawana, Vasoj and Khan villages have been taken to Mumbai for labour work and now they have become unemployed due to lockdown and there are various problems, mostly related to food. Most of them are ready to move back. Identification of which area in which they are in, should be done and special bus facility to bring them should be arranged.
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Click HERE for full letter

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