At a time when the rest of the State is still battling the ferocious second wave of Covid-19, several villages in Odisha have been able to withstand the Coronavirus onslaught.
However, the key to the villagers' immunity is not vaccine or alternative medicines, but their self-discipline and awareness.
Four villages (Tala Tamusingh, Upara Tamusingh, Talapanguda and Upara Panguda) of Tarangada panchayat in Ganjapati district have not had a single case as yet- be the first wave or this menacing second wave of Covid-19.
All these four villages have a population of more than 500 residents. It’s not that no one is moving out or coming to the village from outside. What makes the difference is the residents' strict adherence to Covid protocols which has helped them keep the alien virus at bay.
“So far in our villages, we don’t have a single case of COVID-19,” said Ukeben Mondal, a resident of Tarangada.
Gajapati district collector Anupam Shah congratulated the villagers for strictly following the Covid guidelines. “They have been able to avoid infection as they are self-aware and isolated those who came from outside. Besides, they evade gatherings while visiting urban areas,” he added.
Hanumala village of Lamtaput block in Koraput district is another such example of ‘zero’ covid infection. This tribal-dominated village comprises a total of 160 families. Mostly farmers, the villagers here though not much educated, but are much more regimented when it comes to following government’s Covid guidelines.
“We always wear mask while working in the village or going outside. We know by wearing mask and maintaining social distance, we can save ourselves from infection and have been successful so far,” said Sanyasi Khara, a local of Hanumala.
For Balenga villagers, the famous saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ has proved instrumental in defeating the virus. Most of the residents of this village, under Kosagumuda block in Nabarangpur district with a population of 1500 people, migrate to other states in search of work.
However, the massive awareness campaigns by the Anganwadi and ASHA workers helped them keep the village and the villagers safe from the virus.
An Anganwadi worker, Debika Mirgan, said, “We will not let the virus enter our village. With our hard work, discipline and dedication, we have defeated Coronavirus and hope to continue to do so.”