Ganjam: Antaradi in Bargarh district is not the only village in Odisha to be COVID-free.
Fifteen months after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, not a single coronavirus case has been reported from some panchayats of Ganjam district as well.
Even during the virulent second wave, which hit India around April 2021, the virus couldn’t touch the people of Kankia panchayat under Kukudakhandi block.
Villagers under this panchayat may not be highly educated, but they know how to keep the deadly virus at bay.
Surrounded by hills and jungles, a majority of the people here depend on farming for their livelihood.
“People of this panchayat are following all guidelines issued by the district administration. They are hard-working and managed to arrange food and other basic amenities. Very few people who are leaving the village are taking all the precautions,” said Kukudakhandi BDO Gadadhar Patra.
“We are taking all precautions. We wear masks properly, wash our hands and take bath after returning from work. We want to give our family members as well as other villagers full protection,” said a villager.
Likewise, 30 villages under Gajalbadi panchayat, under Surada block, have not yet been affected by the virus. These villages are mostly inhabited by tribal people and they, too, are following laid-out guidelines strictly. Anganwadi workers are helping them in maintaining COVID-appropriate behaviour.
“Villagers have been going out and people from others villages are also coming here. But they have not contracted the virus because of for their self-discipline,” said an Anganwadi worker.