Bengaluru: At a time when India fights the covid second wave on a war- footing, two sarpanches or village heads in Maharashtra have hit the headlines for efficiently managing the covid crisis. 

As reported by India Today, the two heads in question are Rituraj Deshmukh and Komal Karpe. Such is their contribution that none other than Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray took cognisance of their phenomenal work and eulogised them.   

The CM commented thus: “Rituraj Deshmukh and Komal Karpe have shown the way [as to] how to score over the pandemic with consistent efforts. I congratulate them”. 

Both – aged just 21 – are science graduates were elected to their positions last January, just days before the second wave struck. 

Karpe, as she took charge, had to tackle the surge in cases. With no time being lost, she formed committees consisting of policemen, gram panchayats and anganawadi workers. To be honest, more than fighting the pandemic, she had to battle the attitude of the villagers as they exhibited vaccine hesitation. 

Apart from these, she set up a quarantine centre in the school. Additionally, she ensured that visitors were quarantined for 14 days, banned vendors, shut shops and imposed curfew twice a week. And to ensure that none faced a lack, she arranged for home-delivery as well. 

To give more impetus to her work, she held several awareness campaigns and testing. Her team distributed sanitisers and masks. 

She says, “It was not an easy task, considering the resistance among villagers, but we did not give up”. 

On the other hand, Deshmukh launched a campaign ‘Be positive and covid negative’. 

The gram panchayat members screened all the 1500 villagers. Those found symptomatic were treated. Visitors were quarantined for 3 days. 

Antroli and Ghatane, the respective villages, have not recorded any new cases since May 15 and May 10.