New Delhi: Almost three-fourth of rural India is satisfied with the manner in which the Narendra Modi government has handled the Covid 19 pandemic.
This is as per a first-of-its-kind national survey on the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on rural India.
‘Gaon Connection’ has released its findings that reflect the untold miseries faced by the rural citizens during the lockdown, including mounting debt, increasing hunger, complete loss of livelihoods and inability to access healthcare.
Some 78 per cent respondents said they were also satisfied with the steps taken by their own state governments.
The survey, based on face-to-face detailed interviews with 25,300 respondents, was carried out in 179 districts across 20 states and three Union Territories by Gaon Connection Insights, the data and insights arm of one of India’s largest rural media platforms.
The New Delhi-based Centre for Study of Developing Societies (Lokniti-CSDS) designed the survey and analysed the data.
The key findings of the survey are that more than 68 per cent rural Indians faced “high” to “very high” monetary difficulty during the lockdown.
About 23 per cent rural Indians borrowed money during the lockdown, 8 per cent sold a valuable possession (phone, watch etc.), 7 per cent mortgaged jewellery, while 5 per cent sold or mortgaged land.
As per the survey, 78 per cent of the respondents saw their work coming to a “complete standstill” or “a standstill to a large extent” during the lockdown.
Skilled workers and manual (unskilled) labourers were the hardest hit. Work shut down completely for 60 per cent skilled workers and 64 per cent manual labourers.
Only 20 per cent respondents said that they got work under MGNREGA during the lockdown. Chhattisgarh reported the highest percentage of such households at 70 per cent, followed by Uttarakhand (65 per cent) and Rajasthan (59 per cent). Gujarat and the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh reported the lowest work under MGNREGA at 2 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.
Close to 23 per cent migrant workers returned home walking during the lockdown, while over 33 per cent migrant workers said that they again want to go back to the cities to work.
Forty-two per cent households with pregnant women said that these women did not get pregnancy check-ups and vaccination during the lockdown. The lowest percentages were in West Bengal (29 per cent) and Odisha (33 per cent).
Fifty-six per cent dairy and poultry farmers said they faced difficulty in taking their produce to the buyers while 35 per cent said they did not get the right price for their produce, as per the survey.