13th April 2021
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AMONG THE CITIZENS OF NORTH EAST
Relevance: General Studies Paper 2; Social Issues
A study conducted by the Centre for Criminology and Victimology at the National Law University (NLU), Delhi unde the aegis of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on racial discrimination and hate crimes against people from the northeastern States.
They conducted the study in six metropolitan cities which includes Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
It found that post the COVID-19 outbreak people of north-east have witnessed more racial discrimination.
They faced the discrimination while renting an accommodation, visiting a restaurant who forced them to eat mostly in eateries run by people from their communities and finding transportation.
Reason: the citizen from North east fits into the Indian imagination of the chinese person.
The study also found out that they have faced a series of attacks in various parts of the country. They were harassed, abused, and traumatised and were disparagingly called “coronavirus”.
The study also mentioned a 2020 report by the Right and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG). It found a significant upsurge in acts of racial discrimination against people from the North East Region.
It is a multinational military exercise that was occuring in Bangladesh in 2021, came to an end on 12th April 2021.
Participating countries include: India, Bhutan, Srilanka and Bangladesh.
Observer Countries: U.S., the U.K., Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore
Theme: “The robust peacekeeping operations”
Aim: to strengthen defence ties and enhance interoperability among neighbourhood countries to ensure effective peacekeeping operations.
COVID-19: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS:
India is grappling with the second wave of COVID-19 with more than 1.5 lakhs cases daily. This wave is more dangerous and fata; than the first one as the virus is spreading rapidly across the country, helped by the more infectious variants that arrived from abroad or emerged at home as a ‘double mutant’.
This time the COVID attacked not in the protected environment of lockdown and more careful COVID behaviour being expressed by the citizen, but in the wide open, crowded and unprotected environment with irresponsible behaviour of the citizens, when the economy is in nascent stage of revival and a backlash will be more dangerous.
Steps that need to be taken:
Decentralisation of the response:
Knowledge of existing and evolving local conditions and real time information is important for the design and the delivery of an effective response to the COVID-19.
There is a need for consultative and cooperative policymaking at the national level, inter and intra State level and data-driven decentralised decision making for situation adaptive implementation at the district level.
Avoid huge gathering:
Mandating masks in outdoor and indoor gathering is important to control the spread of the Coronavirus.
There is a need for a ban on large gatherings, for at least the next eight weeks.
Travel restrictions must be imposed during this period at least till the reverse of peak of the COVID-19.
There is a need to detect possible cases through household surveillance of symptomatic individuals by a primary health-care workers team aided by citizen volunteers. This can be achieved by decentralised authority taking up the charge.
Step up vaccine rollout:
There is a need to speed up vaccine rollout, recognising the values and limitations of vaccines.
It needs to be clearly convened to the people that the purpose of the currently available vaccine is to provide protection against severe disease, not infection per se.
We need to get more vaccines quickly into the supply chain by incentivising greater production volumes of approved vaccines.
Involvement of people is must for a successful pandemic response.
For better control and accessibility, masks can be produced at the State or district level, for free distribution to households by community-based organisations.
There is a need to provide empathetic social support to the vulnerable societies. District authorities must identify more vulnerable persons and families who may suffer hardships due to loss of income, shelter or incur high health-care costs.