Role of Gram Panchayats in Tackling COVID-19: A Case Study from Karnataka
Keywords:Local Government, COVID Pandemic, Gram Panchayat, Awareness, Corona Warriors.
AbstractIndia has the third highest number of confirmed COVID -19 cases (about 2.2 crore) in the world after the USA . The State of Maharashtra had the highest number of confirmed cases reported in India followed by Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. COVID-19 affected quite a lot of sectors in rural areas and accordingly, the Gram Panchayats in Karnataka were assigned the responsibility of coordinating and monitoring the activities and issues concerning COVID-19. This paper focuses on the roles and responsibilities that were assigned to the GPs for managing COVID-19 related issues. For the study, primary information collected from GPs through telephonic interviews and secondary information from other sources were used. The findings reveal that the GPs have been playing an important role in tackling COVID-19 and have shown remarkable performance in identifying the migrants, cleaning drainage as well as the village, creating awareness, ensuring social distancing and food security to the poor and marginal families. The Gram Panchayats should continue to be at the forefront in tackling COVID-19 and State Government should offer them wholehearted support in this endeavour.
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