Mountain Farmers of Sikkim-Darjeeling Dealing with COVID & Nature

Although Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal and the state of Sikkim have been projected predominantly as tourist sites, the mainstay of the rural population continues to be agriculture. According to Census 2011, the majority of the population here are rural (60.58% in Darjeeling-Kalimpong & 75.03% in Sikkim) and agriculture is the main occupation. Here farming communities depend on wage labour, small businesses and tourism (homestays) to augment their income from agriculture and all these were also closed during the lockdown period.

Global Epidemic Coronavirus: A Contemplation

It is a well-known fact that corona virus is now affecting homes across the country. Thousands and millions of young people of our hills and lowlands are being held captive in various states of the country for employment. At this time, they are living in a lack of money to pay rent and raise food. Factories, hotels and restaurants are closed due to the lockdown. Their current condition is very pathetic.

A Pandemic of Disease or a Pandemic of Hate?

In December 2019 a cluster of pneumonia-like cases was reported in the Wuhan district of China for the first time. Five months later, this previously unknown contagious disease has wreaked havoc across the globe. The COVID-19 aka SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2) pandemic has affected – directly and indirectly – almost every individual in the world. It has crashed entire economies, tested healthcare infrastructures, and caused havoc and general panic among the global public. The modern world has come to an uneasy and uncertain standstill.

NBMCH Backlog of Pending Tests Cleared – How?

Today, a national daily has reported that the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) has cleared out all the backlog pending COVID tests. While we applaud the efforts put in by the doctors and hospital staff, we find it difficult to believe their claims.

COVID-19, Kalimpong and The Play of Power and Politics

During this formidable COVID19 crisis, Kalimpong, a small town in the foothills of Eastern Himalaya became an unexpected hotspot. Kalimpong’s infamous and unfortunate COVID19 victim, 49 years old Sunita Devi Singh, who had travelled from Chennai, ended up passing the infection on to 15 other individuals before she herself succumbed in a hospital in Siliguri.

Darjinc Jhola – Darjeeling Startup Offers Free Home Delivery of Groceries

As Darjeeling battles the dreaded COVID19 with the lockdown in effect, Darjinc, a rising startup, began its venture ‘JHOLA’ for free home delivery of groceries and other essential goods. A brainchild of homegirl Prashansa Gurung, the service is available via a simple call or a message on WhatsApp. Be it vegetables, fruits, meat and other essentials like oil, kinema and other local produce like churpee, kinema, paade gheeu, putka ko maha among others. Darjinc delivers it all and uses eco-friendly, reusable packing in its larger goal of sustainability for the town.

Time to Make “Universal Public Health a Fundamental Right” – Addressing Faultlines in Public Health Services

The COVID19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability in our Public Health System. It has opened our eyes to the importance and needs of a robust Public Health Service in our country. At present Multiple fault lines along with a plethora of Laws, that have no clear cut demarcation as to who shall, in times of such exigencies, exercise real authority, exist. This has lead to a weakened and fragmented approach in dealing with the crisis.