Kuamara: At a time when the entire nation reels under the raging second wave of Covid-19, there is a village in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj district that has not even reported a single case. The village was also corona-free during the first wave of the pandemic.
Kasibani is a sleepy village under Kuamara panchayat in Gopabandhu Nagar block. Located on the upper end of Naluha River, the village is inaccessible in four-wheelers. In order to go out of the village, it has only a beaten path.
It seems development has made a detour around the village as it has been constantly neglected in all spheres, be it health, education or communication.
The village’s population is around 100 and only 10 per cent of them are literate. But not even the educated ones are employed in organised sector – be it government or private. The breadwinners of all families are daily labourers.
None of the families has a TV set, nor do any newspapers come to their village. While they don’t have any source to keep them informed about what is going on around them, all depend on one or two mobile phones in the village for the same.
The villagers said they came to know about Covid-19 from the mobile phones and are taking all possible measures to keep the disease away from the village. “Our village is yet to report a Covid-19 case. That doesn’t mean that we are not afraid of the pandemic. All of us are in fear and apprehension since we came to know about the fatalities caused by the pandemic. But at the same time, we are strictly following the Covid norms,” said an elderly villager Laxmidhar Marandi.
The villagers said they have been taking some tough decisions to stop the disease from entering their village.
“We haven’t had any marriages or any community feasts since the outbreak of the pandemic. If we go to weekly markets, we take a mental note to wear masks and maintain social distancing there. We have not received vaccine doses as yet. Our strict adherence to the guidelines has been protecting us. We know how catastrophic a slight mistake would be,” another villager Baidyanath Majhi added.
Local sarpanch Sasmita Nayak informed that the village is still a corona-free village.
We have never thought of carrying out a health check-up drive in the village. But we should not be content with it. Since Covid-19 cases are being reported everywhere in the second wave, the villagers are of the opinion that the administration should take precautionary measures to keep the village safe, Nayak said.