DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2021, LUCKNOW, LATE CITY, 12 PAGES `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 34.66 LAKH DOSES GIVEN TO 18-44 AGE GROUP FROM MAY 1-MAY 12 Vaccine inequity deepens in young: 85% of those jabbed are in just seven states SC Justice Chandrachud tests positive, Covid hearing is deferred Centre’s criteria for 45-plus don’t hold for 18-44; population is also not a factor KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MAY 12 INWHATunderlinestheabsence of a transparent formula for allocationandraisescriticalquestions of vaccineequity,sevenstatesaccountforalmostastaggering85% of allvaccinedosesadministered to those in the 18-44 group since that opened on May 1. Records analysed by The IndianExpressshowthatthepattern contradicts assurances given by the Centre to the Supreme Court that to ensure equity, it has worked with private manufacturers to factor in states’ population. Of the 34.66 lakh doses administered from May 1-May 12 to those in the 18-44 age group (thecohortforwhichstateshave to procure from the open market), over 85% were administered in seven states: Maharashtra (6.25 lakh), Rajasthan (5.49 lakh), Delhi (4.71 lakh), Gujarat (3.86 lakh), Haryana (3.55 lakh), Bihar (3.02 lakh), and Uttar Pradesh (2.65 lakh). Except for Delhi,these are six of the 13 states of concern flagged by the Centre that together account for 82.51% of India’s total active cases. Yet, while the seven states mentioned above recorded over 85% of vaccinations, the remainingseven“concernstates—with more than 1 lakh active cases — administered a dismal 5.86% of the total doses to their 18-44 population. Consider this: Karnataka, withthecountry’shighestactive caseload (5.87 lakh), administered just 74,015 doses; Kerala, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Justice Chandrachud is isolating; new date of hearing later EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 12 Nurses in PPE outside a Covid Care Centre in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, on Wednesday, International Nurses Day. Narendra Vaskar Mumbai civic body’s global tender for 1 cr jabs keeps China out LAXMAN SINGH MUMBAI, MAY 12 THE BRIHANMUMBAI Municipal Corporation (BMC) Wednesday issued a global Expression of Interest (EoI) for procurement of one crore doses of vaccines for Mumbai. The EoI includes a condition that bids from companies in countries that share land borders with India will not be considered, which effectively bars any company from China. “We are not aware of the 14 health centre chiefs in UP allege harassment by officials, offer to quit EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, MAY 12 THE SUPERINTENDENTS of 14 health centres in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday offered to step down from their posts because of alleged harassment and ill-treatment by senior administration officials. This came a day after the districtadministrationremovedthe officialsinchargeof theFatehpur Chaurasi and Asoha primary health centres. The district administration denied the allegationandclaimedthatthetwosuperintendents had been transferred as per policy. Toresolvethedispute,District Magistrate (DM) Ravindra Kumar will chair a meeting with all the 14 health centre officials in his office on Thursday. “Weareforcedtotakethisstep PAGE 1 ANCHOR because despite working roundthe-clock since last year, we are regularlybeingharassedandalso threatenedtobesenttojailbyadministrative officials. They scold us by making a false allegation that we are not working responsibly,”saidDrSanjeevKumar,the district general secretary of the Provincial Medical Services’ Association. He is also the superintendentoftheGanjMoradabad health centre and among the 14 who have offered to resign. Of the 14, four are superintendents of community health centres, while 10 are in charge of primary health centres. Dr Kumar claimed that the superintendents of Asoha and Fatehpur Chaurasi centres had been removed without being given a chance to defend themselves. “The superintendents of both the health centres were CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Central government’s current policy. But we have decided to put in this condition in the tender to ban Chinese firms from participating in the EoI. There is a question on the quality aspects and other specifics of the Chinese vaccines. We are not accepting that (WHO approval),” P Velrasu, Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects), told The Indian Express. Interested companies are requiredtorespondbyMay18.The company finalised will have to deliverthevaccineswithinthree CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE ANUNCERTAIN OUTLOOK BYSAUGATABHATTACHARYA PAGE 6 WORLD DOZENS KILLED AS ISRAEL-PALESTINE VIOLENCE RAGES SITUATION COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED: PANEL SLAMS GLOBAL COVID RESPONSE PAGE 10 Premji at RSS lecture: Truth and good science key to confront crisis EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MAY 12 INDUSTRIALIST AND philanthropist Azim Premji said science and truth have to be the foundations to tackle the Covid19 crisis, and the scale and spread of the pandemic need to be accepted truthfully. Speaking during the ‘PositivityUnlimited’seriesoflecturesorganisedbytheRSS-linked Covid Response Team and being aired on national public broadcaster Doordarshan National Spoke at ‘Positivity Unlimited’ series every day this week, Premji, founder of Wipro, said, “First, we must act with the greatest of speed on all fronts and these CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 ALLAHABAD HC WANTS ANSWERS FROM UP PAGE 4 JUSTICE D Y Chandrachud, who is heading the Supreme Court’s three-judge special bench on Covid management, has tested positive and is in isolation. The apex court said it has deferred Thursday’s scheduled hearing on“distributionof essentialsupplies and services during the pandemic and similar matters”. In a notification issued Wednesday, the Supreme Court said that “since one of the Hon’ble Judges of the bench scheduled to hear” the suo motu matter on Thursday has tested positive for Covid, “the Special Bench comprising Hon’ble Dr Justice D Y Chandrachud, Hon’ble Mr Justice L Nageswara Rao and Hon’ble Mr Justice S Ravindra Bhat in Court No.5 will not sit and the matters listed before this bench stand deferred and fresh date of listing shall be notified later”. Due to the pandemic, the Supreme Court has been hearing casesvia video conferencing. Four other judges of the court had tested positive in the past, and have since recovered. On May 10, the court adjourned the hearing in the Covid mattertoMay13followingtechnical glitches. DIPANKAR GHOSE SULTANPUR KHERA (RAE BARELI), MAY 12 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Get vaccines, make them free for all: 12 parties, 4 Opp CMs write to PM MANOJ CG NEW DELHI, MAY 12 THEPOLITICALfaultlinesoverthe Covidsecondsurgesharpenedtoday with leaders of 12 major Oppositionparties,includingfour ChiefMinisters,writingajointletter to Prime Minister Narendra ModiaskingtheCentretoprocure vaccinescentrallyfromglobaland domestic sources and begin a free, universal mass vaccination campaign across the country. The Opposition’s united front came a day after BJP president J P Nadda wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi accusing her party of misleading people and creating false panic. The Oppositionpushedbackaccusing thegovernmentofhavingignored their earlier suggestions, and arguingthat“thisonlycompounded the situation to reach such an apocalyptic human tragedy”. ThisalsocomeswhentheBJP is pulling out all the stops to counter criticism of the Prime Minister and the Centre’s handlingof thecrisis,attributingitto vestedinterestswithan“agenda”. Many states have suspended the vaccination drive for the 1844 age group due to a shortage of doses.Incidentally,DelhiChief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Sanitisation in Sultanpur Khera village in Rae Bareli where 17 people with Covid symptoms have died over the last month. The village has been locked down. Praveen Khanna RAE BARELI AN EXPRESS SERIES PART-6 Keeping the heat on THE SECOND letter from the Opposition in 10 days keeps the heat on the Centre amid the Covid crisis. It’s also a pushback to the BJP’s efforts to paint all criticism of the PM and the Centre as being motivated by an “agenda”. Naran Chauhan’s wife Aruna (far right) with their children at the couple’s home in Morbi’s Ghuntu village . Express HALVAD (GUJARAT), MAY 12 UTTAR PRADESH BY UNNY Tile hub Morbi ran out of beds, firewood as Covid storm hit GOPAL KATESHIYA COVID IN THE COUNTRYSIDE BUSINESS AS USUAL CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 17 deaths in a month in a single village tell the story of a state AS VEHICLES grind to a halt before the makeshift wooden barrieronthetarredsingle-laneroad, Avinash Prasad hitches up his mask and tells people to turn away. “There is Covid in the village. The government has made this a containment zone, 18 peoplehavediedinamonth,”hesays. Thisisoneof theentrypoints toSultanpurKheravillageinUP’s Rae Bareli district. And behind the barrier is Prasad’s home, where his family members are seated on a cot in the courtyard. “Nobodyissteppingout.Dehshat hi dehshat hai (There is fear everywhere),” he says. Nearby, Dinesh Singh, a bank employee, reads out from a list he has compiled of those who died here in the past month PUSHBACK Lucknow ACTIVE CASES 1,667 1,588 APRIL15 MAY11 "THEDISEASEcamelikeastorm,” says Kalabai Chauhan, the sarpanch of Ghuntu village near Morbi town, the tile hub of India. Between April and March, cases tripled,thecremationgroundran out of firewood, the village’s Primary Health Centre struggled to procure enough rapid antigen test (RAT) kits to give a diagnosis, and in and around, the hospitals quickly filled up. Among those who died running around for tests and a bed was Naran Chauhan alias Gulab, a 36-year-old civil contractor of Ghuntu. He got fever in the first week of April, along with his wife Aruna and their nephew. The family lined up for a test at thePHC,butitranoutof RATkits. Eventually, a hospital in Morbi did a CT scan, and a doctor told them it indicated Covid-19, gave them medicines, and advised home quarantine. When Gulab’s oxygen levels dipped,Arunatriedforabed,unsuccessfully, at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Gujarat’s largest hospital where their niece works, the 170-bed government-run General Hospital, Morbi, and three private Covid hospitals in the district with 210 beds. By the time Gulab made it to a private hospitalinRajkot,60kmaway,on April9,hehadtobeputonaventilator. On April 14, within two hours of being brought to Guru Gobind Singh Government (GG) Hospital in Jamnagar, Gulab’s mother, who had meanwhile testedpositive,passedaway.Four days later, so did Gulab. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Jobless man now hands paycheque to 70 like him in Odisha village AISHWARYA MOHANTY BHUBANESWAR, MAY 12 LIKE SO MANY other migrants, Ranjan Sahu, 40, was hit hard by the national lockdown which followedtheCovid-19pandemic unfolding in March last year. Having lost his job, Sahu started his own garment manufacturing unit in his village GunthiinKendraparadistrict.He employed 70 other youths from his village and nearby villages who had either lost their jobs due to the pandemic, or were forced to return home. Almost a month after the lockdown in April last year, facing severe financial constraints, the garment unit in Kolkata he hadbeenworkingforoverseven years had shut down, rendering all its employees jobless. “Ireturnedhomeandwassittingidle,withnowheretogoand without any fresh opportunities. Ihadmysavingstosustainmyself and my family, but I realised that not a lot of people had enough savingsandwereconstantlylooking for work. In my village a lot of peoplehadreturnedfromKerala andSuratwhoworkedinthetextile and garment industries. That is when I decided to start somethingonmyownandstartedthis venture,” Sahu told The Indian Express. Nearly 110 km from Bhubaneswar, in his village of Gunthi in Pattamundai block of Kendrapara district, Sahu set up his first garment manufacturing unit — Royal Green Garment Company. Spread across 3,000 square feet, with 45 sewing machines, the unit has been functional since January this year, employing70migrantswhohad returned to their native villages due to lack of jobs. They now produce formal shirts, tee shirts and trousers. Sahu dropped out of school when he was 18, and like many Migrants have been returning to their villages in Odisha from other states. Aishwarya Mohanty others from his village, left Odisha in search of work. A class X dropout, he picked up the skills of working in the garments industry for nearly 22 years across cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Surat and even Nepal. “I have worked in various capacities across cities, mostly as production manager. I had a comfortable job and never thoughtIwouldstartsomething on my own. The pandemic changed a lot of things. We also plan to expand and hire more peopleasandwhenthedemand increases,” Sahu said. For the residents of Gunthi and nearby villages, he has been a saviour in the time of crisis. Sagarika Panda, 22, used to work at a garment manufacturing unit in Ernakulam in Kerala. The eldest daughter, she had taken up the job to provide for her family. Her father, a farmer, had suffered losses due to cyclone Fani in the coastal village. But within months of joining the job, she was left jobless amidst the raging pandemic. “After the first lockdown even my parents were reluctant tosendmeawaytoanotherstate for work. We were stranded at theunit in Keralafor overaweek before help reached us. But after returning home, there was no livelihood opportunity for me and financially we were strugglingeveryday,”saidPanda,who earns Rs 6,000 a month. “I am happy that we got an opportunity right here close to the village,” she said. Another worker, Dina Lenka, from Adhajori village five kilometres away from Gunthi, had returned from Kolkata after the lockdown. “I learned sewing from an NGO here three years ago. After that I movedtoKolkatafor work. Everythingwassmoothuntilthe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Lucknow
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