Even as the Government of India grapples with negativity and pessimism, largely unleashed by the media, a marvel of engineering is being readied in one of the most strategically significant areas of India. It has taken us ten years to build the ambitious double-tube Banihal-Qazigund Tunnel along the 270 km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, and has cost us nearly Rs 2,100 crores. It shall ensure that Kashmir shall be linked to the rest of India during all weathers and in all conditions. The people are relieved; are rejoicing. Whether to take their goods or their loved ones in distress for medical treatment during the harsh winters — the citizens of this part of India shall heave a sigh of relief.
Yes, a lot is happening in India. Away from the glaring, ill-conceived and largely unjustified criticism of all that the government does or doesn’t do, there are countless stories of hope, valour and grit.
A large number of entrepreneurs and innovators across India responded quickly to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Asimov Robotics, a start-up based in Kerala, deployed robots at entrances to office buildings and other public places to dispense hand sanitizer, and in isolation wards to carry food and medicines in order to ease the pressure on medical staff.
In early April 2020, the Indian Government launched the COVID-19 tracking app, Aarogya Setu, which uses GPS and Bluetooth to inform people when they are at risk of exposure to COVID-19. The app was launched before a similar initiative from tech giants Google and Apple got off the ground.
Many start-ups developed low-cost, easy-to-use and portable ventilators which could be deployed even in rural areas of India.
Let us talk of cheer and positivity, even as we pray for the waves of the deadly pandemic to finally recede forever… Not only has India been witnessing some very remarkable integrating efforts between universities, industries (start-ups) and the government, but also some heartening efforts by individuals in all walks of life.