Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and 21 days nationwide shutdown, former Ward 122 Corporater and renowned businessman Chandan Sharma travelled to Powai to assist residents from lower socio-economic households and gave an exclusive interview to ‘The WatchDog News’ speaking about his tie-up with Nashik farmers to supply essential foods and vegetables to residents of Powai.
When asked by this correspondent about the state of paranoia prevailing in the country as a result of the pandemic, the former corporator said, “There is a huge difference between being alert and being paranoid. I have seen a lot of residents doing the latter, to the point of falling ill. Our Prime Minister announced on March 24, 2020, that the country would undergo a 21-day lock-down to contain the spread of the virus. We must remain vigilant and adhere to the rules set by the government to curb this menace as it spreads rapidly in a host of different ways.”
“To contain this, we must remain at home at all costs and avoid venturing out unless absolutely necessary, like in a time of emergency and purchase of essential goods. The drastic situation in Italy should be a learning lesson for us as a nation. Citizens there did not adhere to the rules imposed, and it cost their country a grave price. We, as a nation, have been remarkably prepared in our fight against this virus.”
“On a personal front I along with my associates, have initiated a series of public service announcements and WhatsApp messages to spread awareness and best practices. People always complained about a lack of leaves from school or work; now the government has given a nationwide holiday!”
“Now coming to the relevant issue at hand, a lot of people will indeed be affected adversely during this lock-down, that is an unfortunate and unintended consequence of the lock-down, an issue we must address both individually at the ward level and at the state and national level. Residents, especially from the lower strata of society, will face employment issues; especially daily wage earners, furthermore they will indeed face a strain in trying source essential goods and services. These are issues we need to address and effectively remedy it.”
“To remedy this, I, along with my esteemed colleagues and associates, have tied up with farmers from the Nashik district to supply fresh vegetables and other essential goods at immensely subsidised rates. This will immensely benefit downtrodden residents from the area as they are being looted by local vendors in these testing times. I believe that this intuitive will be beneficial for both the residents and the farmers, (whose business has been drastically affected) so it’s basically a two-pronged approach.”
“We intend to give those beneath the poverty line free food, so that they too may make it through these testing times. These 21 days will indeed be tough. There is no doubt about that. However, it gives us as a society an unparalleled opportunity to do social good. We shall all do this whilst maintaining adequate social distance. We must strike the perfect balance between idealism and pragmatism in these crucial days…days which will determine the fate of this nation and the world at large.”