29 July, 2021

Marathwada: The Social Virus

The dynamics of the rural pandemic are very different. There’s stigma, ostracism, rumour…a pall of fatalistic silence. So, village India lurches from zero healthcare to zero data.

An ASHA worker in a Marathwada village
Marathwada: The Social Virus

“I would say that if the village perishes, India will perish too. India will be no more India. Her own mission in the world will get lost.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

Through the second wave of the pandemic, as it washed over the Indian landscape, Marathwada was a microcosm of what was happening elsewhere. Like many other swathes of rural India, it saw the same cloudburst of morbid events—death stalking high and low, oxygen running out, scanty health infrastructure, inadequate ­vaccines and the viral inkblot spreading out into far-flung villages. But Osmanabad, in this poverty-ridden ­region of central/southeastern Maharashtra, has added a small note of optimism to that: it has got the first ­establishment in India to produce medical grade oxygen from an ethanol plant. It’s created a flutter of hope even as the district, like so many others in India, continues to reel under the by-now-familiar tsunami of horror.

The second, deadlier, wave of COVID-19 has even reached the ­remote villages, of that...

Latest Magazine

August 02, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section