New Delhi [India], August 10 (ANI): In a first-of-its-kind national survey on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on rural India, Gaon Connection has released its findings that reflect the untold miseries rural citizens are facing during the lockdown.
They include mounting debt, increasing hunger, complete loss of livelihoods and inability to access healthcare. Gaon Connection claims it is India's biggest rural media and rural insights platform.
With a sample size of 25,300, the survey in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies covered 23 states and 179 districts.
The survey findings showed that more than 68 per cent rural Indians faced 'high' to 'very high' monetary difficulty during the lockdown. Nearly 78 per cent respondents saw their work coming to a 'complete standstill' or 'a standstill to a large extent.'
Skilled workers and manual (unskilled) labourers were the hardest hit. Work shut down completely for 60 per cent skilled workers and 64 per cent manual labourers.
A total of 23 per cent migrant workers returned home walking during the lockdown and over 33 per cent of them said they want to go back to the cities to work.
About 71 per cent surveyed households reported a drop in total monthly household income during the lockdown months compared to pre-lockdown months. Only 20 per cent respondents said they got work under MGNREGA in the lockdown.
About 38 per cent of rural households reported having gone without necessary medicine or medical treatment often or sometimes during the lockdown.
In Assam, 87 per cent rural households said they did not receive the required medical treatment followed by 66 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh.
"Rural India has not been part of the national media narrative in the wake of the coronavirus crisis," said Neelesh Misra, founder of Gaon Connection.
"This survey offers powerful insights into how rural India dealt with this crisis and what it plans to do ahead -- including questions like: will they return to cities? Will they change spending patterns?" (ANI)