The second wave of the COVID pandemic, raging across India has made inroads into rural India, putting a greater burden on healthcare infrastructure, which has already been stretched to the hilt.
According to a research paper from State Bank of India, so far in May, rural districts account for over 48 percent of overall new cases. This compared to 37 percent in March.
India on average has only 61 hospital beds per lakh people, and most of those are in urban areas. There's been a discernible failure on the part of state governments in providing adequate healthcare in rural India.
But not just concerns on the healthcare, the spread of the COVID infection in the hinterlands coupled with curbs by several states, has triggered concerns of rising in income inequality and food insecurity. Multiple surveys conducted during the first wave of the COVID pandemic have hinted at an income reduction for the informal sector. This has had an impact on their daily food consumption as well. A large chunk of the informal sector is still reeling from the after-effects of the first wave, and the second wave is adding further to those challenges.
To discuss these challenges and potential solutions, CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to Jean Dreze, visiting Prof - Economics of Ranchi University; Himanshu, associate professor at JNU and Neelesh Misra, founder of Gaon Connection.Watch the video for more.