25 February, 2021

The Farmer's Hands Are Tied

Chikungunya hit the state the worst, but leaders were too busy fighting political battles

Venic Express
The Farmer's Hands Are Tied
Chikungunya wrought havoc in rural Karnataka for a good six to seven months, before serious attempts were made to control it. The state has been the worst-hit in the country, with 7,58,225 suspected cases officially reported till date. The outbreak of chikungunya began in January 2006 and quickly gathered momentum, but unfortunately it did not receive the attention it deserved because its arrival and peak coincided with political instability in the state. Besides, it was not initially an urban phenomenon and hence failed to make news.

One cannot measure chikungunya's devastation through official statistics alone. It has also had a major economic and social impact on rural folk. Since chikungunya physically debilitates a person for 30 to 90 days, agricultural workers, small farmers and daily-wage labourers have suffered serious loss of livelihood, and agricultural production in Karnataka has also been severely affected. The maximum number of cases reported are from the state's most backward districts—Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bagalkot, Bidar and...

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