The ‘Inside Districts’ series launched in April was a one-of-its-kind attempt to capture the experiences of district and Block-level officials, panchayat functionaries and frontline workers, on their challenges and best practices. Recently, we went back to some interviewees to understand how their situation has changed. Among them was a Police Patil in Maharashtra.
The interview was originally conducted in Hindi on 13 May 2020, and has been translated.
Q: Have things changed after the Union government’s decision of easing lockdown? Is your village seeing cases/is it a hotspot?
Police Patil: People have started going out now, especially to buy alcohol. Sometimes, they also sit in groups to drink. Migrants from cities are still coming back to the village. Villagers are also going out to buy things. However, there is no positive case in my village as of now.
Q: What are your tasks now as a police personnel?
Police Patil: We have to ensure that there are no gatherings. We are also checking if the people who are coming from Mumbai and Pune have e-pass. These people are being screened and monitored. Cases are being registered against people who are hiding information.
Q: What are the challenges you are encountering?
Police Patil: It is a challenge to deal with people who are not cooperating and hiding information. Despite being quarantined, some boys are going to play cricket or to swim. Sometimes we also do not get enough support from the Gram Sevak or Patwari.
Q: How has your work changed with the lifting up of the lockdown and easing of restrictions? Is your primary focus still on COVID-19 tasks or are you back to routine work?
Police Patil: With the lifting up of lockdown, our responsibilities have only increased. People are coming from outside and hiding in the village. We are searching for these people and quarantining them. We are not doing any other work as of now; our primary focus is still on the Coronavirus.