During the coronavirus outbreak, tribal hamlets in Chhattisgarh's Bastar, have come out with a novel way of dealing with the virus. Because they do not have access to chemist shops on a daily basis, the people of the tribe have taken their own steps to ensure the safety of their communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
The villagers have made personal protective equipment such as masks made from palm leaves. Also, they are helping Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day lockdown by staying indoors.
Tribals in Bastar take precautionary measures
Tribal hamlets in Kanker and other districts of the Bastar region have taken their own safety very seriously and instead of waiting for Govt's help, they have been proactive in taking precautionary measures.
In fact, in one of the meetings, which were convened in some villages of Antagarh in Kanker district, villagers arrived in minimum strength wearing these nature-friendly masks. A young man from Bharitola village reportedly said, "We heard about corona and we were shocked. We had no solution for this deadly scare. There were no masks for us in our villages. Therefore, the people of our village are coming out of their homes wearing masks made using Sarai leaves."
The 21-day lockdown is being implemented by the locals in many villages. The state of Chhattisgarh has three positive cases of COVID-19. One case was reported from the state capital Raipur and the other from the Rajnandgaon district.
Patel Meghnath Hidko, a villager, said, "When we got information about the coronavirus, we knew it that we had to take our own responsibility. It is because we are staying far away from cities and we won't get immediate help. Apart from this, it is not easy to come and go from here as we stay in a Maoist area."
According to a reporter, who works for broadcast media, villagers are sending green masks from one place to another.
He said, "It was an entirely new experience for him to see tribals wearing self-made green masks. People from one village are using masks. These people do not repeat a mask the next day. They wear a freshly made mask every single day. Nothing concrete has come from doctors' side about these masks except that they do protect to an extent but they might also expose a user to certain breathing problems.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chhattisgarh government has set up 24x7 control rooms with dedicated helplines, in all the 28 districts of the state, including capital Raipur.