Villagers complain of not getting medicines, grocery

Villagers complain of not getting medicines, grocery

The Dhobi Bazaar wears a deserted look during curfew in Bathinda.

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Muktsar, March 27

People living in rural area have said they are getting more affected by the curfew as they were not getting medicines and grocery items. However, sarpanches have now started the process to identify the needy families and provide them with free grocery items.

Ramandeep Kaur, sarpanch, Khirkianwala village, said, “We have identified 38 needy families, who can’t even go anywhere or don not have resources to buy anything. Therefore, essential items worth Rs20,000 have been bought and the distribution process is on.”

Meanwhile, Harmesh Singh, a resident of Khuddian Gulab Singh village, said despite the District Magistrate’s order that essential items would be provided in villages from Thursday, they had received nothing.

However, some shops were opened in villages on Friday. “Some sarpanches at their own level have decided the timing of grocery shops and medical stores in villages and have made announcements in this regard,” said some villagers.

“Getting milk and vegetables are not major issues in villages, but the unavailability of medicines and grocery items needs to be sorted out. Similarly, the Food and Civil Supplies Department had recently provided wheat under the Atta-Dal scheme to beneficiaries. So, it is not an issue,” said Jasvir Singh, a resident of Bhullar village.

In an attempt to ensure the supply of essential items in villages, the administration has authorised sarpanches to buy items from shops in towns and supply these to retails shops in villages. The sarpanches will get curfew passes from the SDMs concerned. The shops in villages will open from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Fearing the spread of the coronavirus, some villages have even banned the entry of outsiders and put up posters at the entry points.

MK Aravind Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Muktsar, said, “I will ask the officials concerned at a review meeting in the evening to speed up and start sending essential items in villages. Further, we are sending grocery items in slums.”

About the distribution of medicines to Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment (OOAT) clinic patients, he said the medicine of seven to 10 days would be given to them on their doorstep soon.

On the problems being faced by farmers, he said, “If there is no issue of crowd at any place, we are not stopping people. Farmers can work in their fields, but there should be no gathering.”

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