Lock Down - Social Distance in Rural Belt

Gautam Kumar Das

People moving in the market place in the urban Kolkata metropolis criticizes the others for meandering in and around the same place, when the others say that many addicts love to addict several other persons for marketing green and vegetables in the morning in such a lock down market in present days. This type of apparent contradiction is keeping among the people hindering lock down where social distance is a must to do in order to combat the commencement of epidemic due to outburst of Corona virus contamination.

Once it was advocated by the WHO during third week of March, 2020 that Corona will be dead one and vanished in the temperature range from 230 to 270C. We, Bengali people, along with the rest of the Indian were thinking of our safe position as the Indian subcontinent is a region known for its heat flow from the 1st week of April as a mark of the commencement of the ensuing summer. April came, temperature rose, and simultaneously Corona modified itself in the changing environment in Indian subcontinent. Corona virus has gone through total 27 number of point mutation that make the virus most devastating. Accordingly, the Prime Minister of the Government of India announced the complete lock down of the country w.e.f 24th March, 2020 and extended it up to 3rd May, 2020 and the classes and exams of all schools colleges and universities of West Bengal are declared suspended till the 10th June, 2020 by the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

This lock down for maintaining social distance meant for stay at home, stay safe and stay healthy is very useful and relevant to combat contamination of Covid19. But a few people, particularly Bengali people, not habituated with staying alone or aloof from the tea stall or mass gathering for religious purposes. Most of the people are in holidays mood staying at home in this lock down period. And they are simply sleeping at random and a little bit, become somnambulist. A somnambulist, of late, suffers from somnambulism by dreaming of a dream and have a vision in repeat telecast of the same dream for such random sleeping almost round the clock.

One of my friends makes fun of such holidays propounding Newton’s another law of holidays - a man in the rest continue to be in the rest until his wife calls him and offers him duties. Another friend makes a joke for those who are aspirants to the visit of foreign countries - the present days astrologers predict to nobody for a foreign tour starting to a foreign land. Another joke on the government’s direction for wearing a mask, a mandatory task, mask inside the house not for avoiding Corona virus contamination but to control eating vigorously hour after hour staying at home in the lock down period.

These are the scenario at a glance of urban vigil of lock down, but the difference of lock down scenario between the urban and rural areas is in fathoms. It is too difficult to fathom the thoughts on social concept of the villagers. Villagers till date are not able to cope with all the difficulties for non-communications of their day-by-day tales of the neighbours, stopping by roads but without a sole word conversation between two wayfarers. They tied their mouth with gamcha (thin cotton towel), naturally they are not able to speak with each other. Village roads become lonely and secluded, though the villagers work in their field of paddy, potatoes, peppers, greens and vegetables, remaining silent even in the field of remote areas.

This is not the village I know. I have to response hundreds of queries faced by the villagers on the way from main road to my ancestral home whenever I like to visit my parents and other kin. Almost all the villagers know the names of all inhabitants in the village where I was born and brought up. Village is a useful form of community for societies that enable socialization of people and development of culture. Today the changing behavioural pattern of those villages in order to maintain social distance for lock down surprises the urban dwellers. Only a few young chaps continued playing football in the school ground are stopped by pumping knee-dip waters from the adjacent pond on the playground by the rural police. Even a rural police camp is fixed in the school-market complex and allow all the shops and groceries to open only 2 hours from 10 am to 12 noon and control the mass gatherings into a thin shape in the market areas. And the inhabitants of the rural belt have superseded the urban people of the city and town by their rigid determination and strong mentality to combat such epidemic that spread worldwide by the Covid 19. Though elated by standard of living, it does not render the urban people supercilious where the rural people are thinking only that the positive is the most negative word in 2020. 

Apr 19, 2020

 Gautam Kumar Das

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