“Stay Home and Stay Safe, the Government will look after all your needs and priorities in the wake of lockdown” said Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur adding that ‘Main hoon Na’, (I am there) for my people and for my state. I assure that together we will and we can control the spread of pandemic.
Nothing would have been better than this comfort message, for the people of the state and for the labourers including the migrant labourers, urban and rural poor, who were in dismay, the very first day when the Prime Minster Narendar Modi announced the lockdown in wake of COVID19, to save his countrymen from the worst ever pandemic, with Global death toll of 2,48,347 and as many as 3,568,217 positive cases worldwide as on 4th May.
The people, though not used to the lockdowns, supported the appeals of the Prime Minister, and Chief Minister of the State, believing that ‘by the end of the day there will be a ray’, a ray of hope and willingness to fight back the catastrophic virus befittingly. Being paid for their patience, after the first lockdown, the Government focussed much on essential commodities, for need of bread and butter for the poor in form of free ration, medicines and above all releasing the lockdown grip for the labourers and farmers so that they could work and harvest their crops for livelihood of many.
The Chief Minister in a series of video conference meeting with the deputy commissioners and Police Chiefs of the district is monitoring the day to day activities and developments, to ensure that none of the Himachali’s face any problem during the lockdown besides daily wagers, the poor and the labourers get adequate work and sufficient food. MNREGA workers can come for work provided that they maintain all norms of safety, said the Chief Minister.
Reassurances and advisories to the people and taking timely measures, the farmers today were a happy lot and seem to be thanking for immediate permissions for hiring men and machinery for harvesting their crop.
“ Main Himachal Ke Mukhya Mantri, Jai Ram Thakur ji ka aabahri hoon, saath hi aabhari hoon Una ke prashashan ka, yahan ke krishi vibhaag ka jinhone mujhe tractor ke liye aur 12 logon ke liye ekdum paas banwa diya taaki main apni das kille ki zameen par ugai apni fasal kaat sakoon” (I am thankful to the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the local administration and the agriculture department who immediately issued pass for my tractor and 12 labourers for harvesting my crops spread over 10 acres of land), said Pradhan Gram Panchayat, Jankor, Jagdev Singh. He said that all the norms of social distancing, wearing of masks, washing hands is being observed.
Similarly, Radha Krishan of village Kuthaar Kalan was satisfied with the assistance given by the administration and was thankful for giving relief to the farmers and industrial sector in wake of lockdown.
“I am even getting the spare parts and repair done of my tractor and the thrasher in automobile workshops and facing no difficulty in harvesting my crops” said Surinder Pal, s/o, Gian chand of Village Abada-Barana. Similarly, Suresh Kumar of Abada-Barana was thankful to the Government and the local administration.
“Mujhe kam ke liye paas bhi diya gaya hai aur free ration bhi”( I have got a paas to work and also free ration) said Manoj Kumar a labourer from Bihar, working in the fields, further adding that he was grateful for relaxations and local officers for providing ration.
As many as 4098 passes were issued to farmers till 28th April, to start harvesting work with men and machinery and till 2nd May as many as 4234 Kissan passes have been issued said Deputy Director, Agriculture, Una, Suresh Kapoor.
Rural Development Minister Virendar Kanwar told that arrangements have been made in such a way that the local labourers need no paas is mandatory for local labourers in the harvesting season however, the labourers from out of the State were being issued passes . Automobile workshops are opened for any emergent repair and maintenance of tractors or thrashers, besides, Social distancing norms are being ensured as harvesting season was in full swing.