Video By: Tahir Mushtaq | Text By: Sajad Rasool
Government enforced lockdown has affected the daily lives of the citizens of Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir. Local NGOs like Nation First have provided Ramban residents with ration, medicines, masks, sanitizers, and hygiene products for women.
A huge number of the population in Ramban is daily wage workers, whose income has come to a halt due to ongoing lockdown. With only 3 confirmed cases in Ramban as of now, the local administration is making sure that the people in rural parts remain safe from COVID-19. According to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of the Ramban area, who also works as a Nodal officer during the lockdown, administration and local activists are working day and night to make sure people remain safe and supplies are provided to them wherever required. The locals have appreciated the initiative. With less than 3 lac population Ramban district’s people grow a few crops like wheat and maize in a few months of summer, the mountainous region is usually dry and people depend on imports of grains from Jammu and Srinagar. In Ramban town, there are more than 350 migrant laborers from states like UP and Bihar, they are being regularly supported by the voluntary group with food, etc. The district administration has also started providing transport to the ones who want to go back to their home states.
Ramban lies in the red zone as 18 positive cases of Covid-19 have been reported as of May 18, 2020. Hence, the movement of residents is strictly enforced to prevent further spread of the viral disease. More than 350 migrant laborers have run out of supplies as the lockdown enters its fourth phase. They are also being cared for by local Ramban residents. However, the NGOs themselves say that they are yet to reach out to every person in need. If their essential supplies have run out, Ramban residents can call on 9622347343 to help the NGOs reach out to them and provide essential relief items. Zamir Ahmed Rishu, Assistant Commissioner Development for Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district while speaking to Video Volunteers said that the administration, in addition to providing relief material, has also started an online portal to help migrants register themselves. This will help the administration assess the no. of migrants stuck in the region and to arrange for their safe return. As the total no. of cases in India crosses the 6 figure mark, it is important to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections while simultaneously ensuring that no citizen in need of food and medicines is left behind.