Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Champaran Diary

Last year, there wasn’t a Covid-19 case within 100 miles of my village—Bihar was snug its innate ‘immunity’. But doctors were as scarce…and now Motihari looks worse than Mumbai.

Champaran Diary
Illustration by Saahil
Champaran Diary
outlookindia.com
2021-05-28T15:44:45+05:30
The Litti-Chokha Immunity

Last year, during the first wave of the Covid outbreak, while sitting in faraway Mumbai, I often wondered how my home state Bihar was able to manage the pandemic situation so well des­pite having no proper healthcare infrastructure. Relatives from my native East Champaran district were a boastful lot: Biharis have a superior imm­une system, they are the grassroots people with a hotline to Mother Nature, their per capita consumption of vitamin D is better than that of the residents of Rann of Kutch, corona is a damn metro thing and what not! Do you think the coronavirus can do anything to us, they asked. In all seriousness, none of it sounded like empty boasts; they actually believed in such theories. And I have reasons to suspect that the Bihar government also bel­ieved in the same hypothesis. Going by the flagrant lack of preparedness on its part in dealing with the second wave of COVID-19 cases now, it seems they went about with their daily routine with a conviction that ek Bihari sab virus par bhaari (one Bihari is stronger than all viruses).

Mumbai Safe, Motihari Not

During the first wave, I used to get frequent calls from my friends and relatives in Bihar as they were worried about the exponential rise in coronavirus infections in Maharashtra. It was not surprising since my native village and the surrounding areas were untouched by this disease. In those days, my father chose to leave Mumbai for our village in Bihar since not a single COVID-19 case had been reported from within 100 miles of our village. It was considered to be a safer option than Mumbai. A few months later, the scenario has reversed as Covid has penetrated not only the district headquarters but...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

A Message Not Delivered, A Matisse Painting Never Gifted: A Co-Star’s Tribute To Shah Rukh Khan

Sayani Gupta, a star-struck teenager who acted with SRK, reveals what endears the superstar to his millions of fans across the globe.

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

In Valley, Amit Shah Says No To Talks With Pakistan, Yes To Dialogue With J&K People

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Sunday called for talks with Pakistan for the sake of peace in the region.

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

IPL: RPSG Group, CVC Capital Win Bids To Own New Teams

RPSG Group will be based in Lucknow while CVC Capital will have Ahmedabad as their base city from IPL 2022.

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

With Lalu, TMC Taking Potshots At It, Congress Faces Trouble From Anti-BJP Regional Parties

The challenge Congress faces at present is it has to fight not just internal dissidence and the BJP but deal with anti-BJP regional parties, who are no longer seeing it as a viable ally.

Advertisement