Guwahati, May 31: The efforts put in by Pachayat and Rural Development (P & RD) Department in Assam through a mass movement to create mass awareness against the COVID19 pandemic in rural areas of the state has helped keeping a large number of gaon panchayats (GPs), Village Council Development Committees (VCDCs) and Village Development Councils (VDCs).
The P &RD Minister, Ranjeet Kumar Dass today informed that as per the regular report on the initiatives undertaken to fight with COVID-19 in the rural areas of the state, presently 304 GPs/VCDCs/VDCs in the state are COVID-19 free. Out of these 173 are Gaon Panchayats and 131 are VCDCs/VDCs.
The minister hoped with active participation and cooperation of everyone, it would be possible to declare entire rural areas of Assam as COVID free in near future.
COVID-19 outbreak in the state has predominantly remained an urban phenomenon since urban areas have reported the larger number of COVID-19 positive cases.
The role of P & RD Department has become crucial in containment and prevention of COVID-19 in rural areas. The department has taken various profound initiatives to combat COVID-19 through a Jan Andolan (mass movement) in rural areas.
The state has Assam 2,197 Gaon Panchayats and 479 VCDCs/VDCs (KAAC: 40 VDCs, DHC:28 VDCs, BTAD:411 VCDCs) under the Sixth Scheduled districts.
In order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the rural areas, Gaon Panchayats and VCDCs/VDCs have been geared up to fight against the pandemic in rural areas of the state.
In every GP, a War Room has been set up, which is acting as the nodal point to fight against COVID-19 in the GPs/VCDCs/VDCs. Task Force has been constituted in the GP/VCDC/VDC with participation of the PRI members.
Sanitization activities in the rural areas have been undertaken by the GPs/VDCD/VDCs. Free masks are also distributed to the vulnerable groups, such as job card holders, weaker sections of people, widows, marginal farmers etc. of the GPs wherever necessary.