FOR THE last 10 days, Sudhanshu Kumar, mukhiya of Nayanagar panchayat area in Bihar’s Samastipur district, has been moving around with a microphone and asking people to inform about any migrant returning to a village without staying in quarantine for 21 days.
Kumar has been receiving calls from villagers across the panchayat regarding the movement of migrants.
“Such is the level of awareness now that villagers would send them to the local police station or block camp right from outside the village. Our job is to monitor that no exceptions are made. In the last seven days, 25 migrants have returned to our panchayat and 24 of them went to quarantine centres. One person who resisted was handed over to the police,” said Kumar.
The mukhiya has also made it mandatory for villagers in the panchayat area to wear masks before stepping out.
Following several instances of migrants fleeing quarantine centres, the state Panchayati Raj department issued an order on April 30, making it mandatory for all mukhiyas, sarpanchs and ward members to inform the police if any migrant reaches a village without going through the process of registration, health check-up and quarantine.
Kumar said, “We are trying to fully comply with the order because it concerns the safety of all of us. With cases surging now, the message is loud and clear to all villagers.”
Dinesh Rai, the mukhiya of Qasimpur panchayat under Patna, said Covid-19 is the only point of discussion now. “Village youths have turned into Corona warriors. There is hardly any incident of a migrant reaching home without completing the quarantine period,” he said.
Sonu Kumar, a resident of Ramchua village under Bana, said their village mukhiya Sarojini Devi and her husband Kamal Kishore Singh were moving around to spread awareness.
Additional DGP (civil defence) Kundan Krishnan told The Indian Express, “Mukhiyas have been doing a good job. In 90 per cent cases, people are visiting quarantine centres. Some people coming to villages on bicycles or foot are also being identified.”