Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Development

Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Development

Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Development : -COVID-19 remains a matter of global concern at present. The year 2020 will be remembered for the terrible situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic .Due to this life, world economy including Indian rural economy are widely affected. While as a disease Covid-19 has remained largely confined to the cities, as a social phenomenon, it has caused widespread damage in rural areas. To protect against COVID-19, lockdown, social distancing, quarantine, isolation policy has been adopted by nearly all countries around the globe .The COVID-19 proliferation disrupted the situation and activities in the Indian states, creating an immediate impact on all sectors (primary, service, industry).
India’s workforce comprises nearly 92 per cent in the unorganized segment, with the entire farm sector falling under the informal category. The unorganized sector does not have social security. As soon as the work of the employer is closed, the employment of the person working there gets affected the most. The worst affected people due to COVID and the resulting lockdowns are the workers in the unorganized, informal sector in the rural area.
Large-scale reverse migration happened due to lockdown as the MSMEs and other industries, malls, etc were shut and these poor labours had no money to pay rent for their accommodations in cities and eat. As rural-urban migration has become a key source of income and employment for many, the lockdown-induced loss could have a severe impact on rural livelihoods.
Their children’s education were affected by this, many migrant children left their school, which increased the number of drop outs. At the same time, female workers were also affected, about 53 percent of women work in the unorganized sector. Most migrant women became unemployed.
It may even affect the demographic situation in villages during the next Census, depending on how long the impact plays out. The nationwide lockdown came at an unfortunate time for farmers, as it was the harvest season for the rabi (winter) crop. The lockdown created a shortage of labor .Consequently, farmers were not been able to harvest their crops of cereal and oilseed harvest this season. In some places the crops were even abandoned, while in others the harvest came in more than a month late, with limited and more expense labor. Even those farmers who cut their crops could not sell their produce due to the closure of the transport facility.
The produce in the village did not reach to the markets, products kept in the warehouse were damaged. Most villages were cut off from food and medical supplies, leading to a bad effect on their income, purchasing power, health as well as chain supply.
In this critical circumstances, the government announced certain relaxation in the lockdown norms, to bring the rural economy back on track. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna was announced by the Government to provide food, employment opportunities, wages, direct benefit transfers.
Government rolled loans scheme for farmers to kick-start rural economy. The package for farmers, including fishermen and those engaged in animal husbandry, will offer access to cheap credit.
The Government has also laid emphasis on being vocal for local, which could give a boost to rural economy in long term. The much needed revision of MGNREGA wages and relaxation in APMC act has been few steps in the right direction which would help the rural economy in the long run. All said and done, Government’s version of ‘gram swaraj’ is a nice concept but will not restore momentum to the economy right away.
Reviving the transport sector is key to reviving growth. Revival of activity may spread Covid-19. Central and state governments must ensure they have the resources to manage that.
Dr.JYOTI KUMARI
Dept.of Rural Economics & Co operative
T.M.B.U,Bhagalpur

Daily Current Affairs 16 August 2020 Hindi & English

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Vimlesh Kumar

    Thank you Sir!
    This topic is highly important for upcoming BPSC mains

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