Time to turn crisis into opportunity

Time to turn crisis into opportunity

While the entire world is shaken by the deadly coronavirus, it is really admirable that India, a country which has more than a billion population...


While the entire world is shaken by the deadly coronavirus, it is really admirable that India, a country which has more than a billion population has been in much better situation. It is reassuring at the moment that there is no evidence of community outbreak.

The credit for this goes to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had sensed the danger and, in close coordination with the State governments, announced a health protocol for all the States. While a little slip on the part of Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka had caused some damage and the number of cases is on rise, the Telangana government woke up well in time and took some tough decisions. It took about 48 hours for the government to hammer some sense into the people, particularly those are in the so-called global city of Hyderabad to ensure that people do not move out of house and maintain social distance.

On the other hand, call it awareness or scare, the villagers were first in isolating the people and villages from outside influence. They realised that the only way to prevent the spread of coronavirus was self-isolation. It is only the educated urban lot who behaved as if the world was going to end today and only they would be alive to see the next dawn and hence wanted to stock everything needed for next three to four months.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, however, has been reviewing the situation and taking necessary steps and has been trying to inspire all to maintain self-discipline and has been giving clear statistics of number of beds available, number of labs, and other medical facilities that have been put in place.

India had exhibited its resilience in the past as well in many ways. We had successfully battled and defeated polio, smallpox, HIV/Aids and H1N1. This pandemic can also be fought easily provided people realise their social responsibility. For a change, the government has been doing all that is possible not bothering about the adverse impact on State finances. If people too stand up in united manner, it is not difficult to overcome this crisis situation.

While battling the unseen enemy, it is time Indians learn the importance of re-inventing themselves. While working from home, lets take a break and just think how our earlier generations used to live in our villages, what kind of rules the families used to follow etc.

Every house used to have a designated place near the main entrance of the house where a tub made of stone used to be there with water and a mug. Anyone who came, whether it was a family member or outsider, had to remove his or her chappals, wash hands, feet and face, wipe with fresh towel and then enter the house. What are we saying now when we are faced with coronavirus, 'leave your footwear outside the door, wash your hands up to elbow, don't re-use the clothes, wash your feet and face and if possible take bath twice a day'.

The towels they used, and the clothes worn at night were washed every day. Anyone coming to meet the family head was made to sit on the high platforms outside the main door of the house. That was nothing but social distancing. There used to be safe distance between the guest and the host.

During the ongoing lockdown, several videos are being aired on TVs showing how film stars are using daily chores as exercise. This is no new concept. What our grandparents used to do was the same but there was no glamour component in it. Even food habits were not as complicated as it is now. It used to be cooked every morning and evening and served hot. I remember, my grandmother used to insist that we eat a piece of jaggery after dinner. It was because It prevents constipation by aiding digestion. It activates the digestive enzymes in our body, thus helps in proper digestion of food. It acts as a detox, as it helps cleanse the liver by flushing out nasty toxins from the body.

At dawn, our grandmothers used to spray water mixed with cow dung and decorate it with Rangoli. It was nothing but spraying natural disinfectant. They used to apply turmeric to the door frames which was antibiotic. The villagers used to get up early in the morning, take bath, and perform puja. That was to ensure that the body got cleaned. The puja used to help in inner engineering and prepare them for the days hard work. The dhoop sticks and camphor used to keep different kind of virus and bacteria at bay. Now the present generation wakes with stress in mind. They are always on the run. Even during weekends, they spend more time thinking about how to make more money rather than focussing on spending quality time with their children.

Every festival has its own importance and the rituals too has scientific reason. They used to pray to the local Goddess known as 'grama devata'. The rituals used to help in purifying the air and disperse the negative energies at the entrance of the village. But with rapid urbanisation, our belief that anything from abroad is great has resulted in disturbing the lifestyle. The social bonding has taken a beating. The entire family does not even sit together for dinner. We depend on stored food in refrigerators or order online. We don't follow time schedules. We have stopped doing our own work and leave everything to maids with no supervision. But then the earlier generation failed in explaining the advantages of their lifestyle in a scientific manner. The younger generation thought their elders were being rigid and old-fashioned and started aping western style of living in a wrong manner. They got carried away by the glitter if one may use that word and forgot our roots.

The sudden outbreak of deadly corona has helped us in disguise. We are now seeing husband and wife handle the daily chores in their house in the absence of maid servants. They are doing some exercise in form of cleaning utensils and dusting the house. Yes, of course they feel it is tiresome since they are more used to electronic gadgets and not hard work. What was hardly any work for grandmother, today's generation says it is very hard work. The scare of spread of the virus has forced them to hyperactive in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene. What Swachh Bharat could not do in last five years, Covid-19 has done in less than one month. Even now its not late. We can go back to our old habits using latest technology. It can be a perfect fusion of following tradition with the help of technology. Let's hope we will succeed in turning this crisis into an opportunity to better our lives and lifestyle.

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