Right step in right direction

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The Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha’s decision to reach out to political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory to seek their suggestions and cooperation to tackle the fresh surge in Covid-19 infections has been hailed by one and all. During his telephonic conversations with several political leaders, the Lt Governor observed that the representatives of public and political leaders have an important role to play in these trying times and to break the chain of spread of Covid-19, the administrations needs everyone’s support and cooperation. He appealed the leaders to join hands with the administration and come together to protect and save lives. He informed the leaders that the Covid situation in the UT was under control and that the capacity of medical oxygen in J&K has increased three times in the last six months with most of the big Covid care Government hospitals in J&K having their own oxygen generation plants. He invited suggestions from these leaders for strengthening the control measures being taken by the Government to curtail the spread of the virus. The leaders assured their cooperation in battle against the pandemic. It goes without saying that the battle against Covid can’t be won by the administration in isolation. It has to involve all sections of the society and the political leaders are ones who enjoy tremendous influence in the society and thus can help in the fight.

Lt Governor’s approach is laudable. The UT is face to face with a life threatening crisis and it needs a joint fight by all stake holders. By approaching the political leaders, the Lt Governor has broken the ice and it is therefore the responsibility of these political leaders to play their role in the fight. The political leaders are connected with the ground; they have communication with the masses; they are fully aware about the geography of the land and thus equipped with the knowledge what needs to be done where. These political leaders can play a decisive role in helping break the spread of Covid pandemic by activating their rank and file all over the UT. They have their people everywhere who can not only be the ambassadors of the administration to make people aware about the Covid related SOPs but can also play a vital role in encouraging masses to go for testing and vaccination.

Earlier the administration had involved the religious leaders and scholars who played a great role in making people aware about social distancing, wearing of masks and hand hygiene and also helped in dispelling doubts regarding vaccination. Religious leaders themselves came forward to get the jab and also appealed people from the pulpits of Masjids and through different media outlets to go for vaccination. It was because of the cooperation of these religious leaders and scholars that despite facing emotional hurt, people readily agreed to stay away from congregational prayers. Political leaders too have been urging people to follow the SOPs and have got themselves vaccinated to convey to the masses that, at the moment, there is no other option to break the spread of the pandemic but to go for vaccination. The UT administration has taken a right step in right direction and should broaden its area of communication involving the civil society leaders too.

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