**Shining beacon of hope: Village in Ahmednagar becomes Covid-free, following Covid appropriate behavior**
While the entire country is under the spell of the second wave of Covid-19, a small village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra – ‘Bhoyare Khurd’ has successfully tamed the spread of the virus by following simple steps.
Bhoyare Khurd emerged as a shining beacon of hope for every Indian as it exhibited how even a small, far-flung village with limited facilities can overcome Covid-19 with the right measures being taken at the right time.
**Of Bhoyare Khurd village & its people**:
Located about 20 km away from the Ahmednagar city, the Bhoyare Khurd village is situated on a hilly belt in a drought-stricken area.
The village is the 2nd village after Hivare Bazaar whose success story has been documented to inspire positive change. Bhoyare Khurd, a small village with a population of 1,500 people has demonstrated that with the collective efforts of people, even a pandemic as dreaded as the Covid-19 can be brought to its knees.
**Success story: what made it happened?**
The Gram Panchayat and the Health Department started conducting antigen tests for families with infected patients in the very initial phase when three-four Covid-19 cases were detected in the village. Thereafter, the villagers took upon themselves the initiative to keep their village corona-free.
– **Testing**: All families in the village were checked from time to time with the help of ASHA and Anganwadi workers, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare from time to time.
– **Isolation**: If any Covid-related symptom like fever, cough, or fatigue were observed, such people were immediately subjected to an Antigen test and kept under isolation.
– **Awareness Campaign**: A widespread awareness campaign was launched in the village temples where loudspeakers were used to convey messages about Covid-appropriate behaviours every morning and evening. The villagers were informed about the disease and how to take care of themselves and their families under the prevailing pandemic situation.
– **Covid-appropriate behavior**: The Covid appropriate behavior like wearing masks, following social distancing, washing hands frequently, regular health check-ups, and isolation of people, as stressed upon by the Centre and State’s Covid Communication Campaigns, were reiterated time and again.
– **Gaon Band**: After a state-wide lockdown was announced, Bhoyare Khurd Gram Panchayat implemented the “Gaon Band” initiative to check the spread of Covid-19.
– **Challenges faced**: Speaking about the challenges faced, Gram Sevak Nand Kishore Devkar said, “Initially it was very difficult to convince village people to stay away from their families. But gradually, they understood the threat and it became easy for us to quarantine the infected persons.”
**The message of Sarpanch for other villages**:
The Sarpanch of Bhoyare Khurd, Rajendra Ambekar said that their village broke the chain of the virus by persuading people for isolation, which made their village Covid-free by the month of May.
He sends across a message for other villages that “If other villages follow the example of Bhoyare Khurd, it will not take long for them to become free from Covid-19”.