Baseer Choudhary – A man with a mission

In a wide-ranging interview with Kashmir Canvas correspondent Sakshi Khindri, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Baseer Choudhary listed the steps taken by the district administration in controlling the Covid situation. He informed that the 200-bed hospital will be ready soon. He also talked about Ayushman Bharat, measures taken to check drug addiction, women empowerment, sports and other activities in the district. 
Here are the excerpts:

Q:What is the present situation of Covid-19 in District pulwama?The overall situation is under control. As per data, the positive cases per day do not exceed 6 to 7. Death rate is zero and the positivity rate is less than 1% and the bed occupancy is zero. Oxygen supported beds in the district are nearly 500. Q:2 When is the Covid-19 dedicated 200-bed hospital going to be completed?It will be ready within a week’s time. It includes RTPCR labs, operation theaters and also has all the necessary facilities required for the covid mitigation and management and it will be inaugurated soon.Q;3 How many people have been vaccinated in your district so far?The people of age group of 45+ years are 100% vaccinated in Pulwama district. The age group of 18 to 45 years are 25% vaccinated. Shopkeepers, vendors, transporters, people related to the essential services and education department and students are our top most priority to ensure that schools, colleges, markets, transport functions normally. As many as 4500 Covid tests are done on daily basis. Our joint team is working  hard on the implementation of Covid appropriate behavior. All praise to the medical department of Pulwama district as they played an important role along in managing the situation. As a result, there are less than 1% positivity rate, single digit cases and zero bed occupancy. They also managed  oxygen support system very efficiently. Q:4 In the last two years, how much  development has taken  place  in Pulwama?Earlier, district plan was limited to Rs 138 crore, which has now increased to Rs 407crore. This plan is people’s plan in which panches, sarpanches, BDCs and DDCs have participated and also approved by the district  Development council (DDC). This plan fulfils the needs, challenges and aspirations of Pulwama. And, we are working on different projects.Q:5 Is there any patient suffering from Delta variant in your district?No, not a single cases in our district has been reported yet. For more Covid management and appropriate behavior, we are launching an awareness drive in our district on a large scale within 2 or 3 days.Q:6 What is Ayushman Bharat scheme? It is universal health coverage scheme launched by the Government of India. On the directions of Hon’ble LG Shri Manoj Sinha, a review meeting was held on 15 July and its coverage in our district is about 35%. Today, the rate of coverage is 82% and our target of 100% will be completed by 15 August.Q7 Does Ayushman Bharat scheme provide any benefits to the youth of Pulwama?Yes. Anyone who has golden card  can avail its benefits. The main benefit is for those who cannot pay hospital bills. Anyone can use this  scheme whether he or she is a BPL (below poverty line), rich or poor. The golden card helps one to get free treatment if admitted in a hospital. Q: 8 What facilities are available for the drug-addicted people in your area?In our area, there are counseling centers to help drug addicts. Not only facilities but also different platforms are available for drug addicts so that they can live their lives in a graceful manner. The first thing is, if the youth is involved in drugs we can see how can we provide him/her with employment opportunity under the prime minister employment generation program (PMEGP). Other than that, the youth can work in allied activities like vegetables growing, sheep husbandry, fisheries, sericulture etc. They can also set up processing industry or processing units which falls under MSME. In this way, they can generate employment opportunities not only for themselves but also for others.Also to ensure the youth take part in sports activities, have we set up playgrounds in every panchayat. Out of 190 panchayats, we already have 82 playfields in use and work on 51 is under progress and expected to be completed in next 15 days. We are also setting up a district youth centre with facilities like library, cafe, indoor games like badminton and tennis. We provide all these platforms to keep the youth away from drugs. In many areas, we are also running awareness camps.  But all this can be successful only if parents and society provide equal support. That is why the involvement of families and society is very important.Q;9 What about women empowerment in the district administration?We have a large percentage  of women in all departments like education, social welfare, revenue, etc because of which there is a great decision making. There is 33% women reservation in PRIs and they play an important role in plan formulation also. In DDC, there are many women members. The plan of the council is over Rs 407 crore. In sports, education and every other field, women have an important role to play. We have panchayat youth clubs in every panchayat in which we have ensured representation of 40% women. Therefore, the participation of women in decision making and day-to-day activities has been increasing day by day. Q10: How many government schemes are implemented in your district?There are 32 centrally sponsored schemes and all of them are implemented in our district.