Meghalaya - often termed as “Abode of Clouds”, is one of the eighth North Eastern states of India, comprising of an area of 22,429 sq. km. and has an estimated population of around 3.4 million as in 2021. Along with the rest of the world, the deadly disease Corona virus or COVID-19 which shook the entire globe last year, also affected the small population of this beautiful hilly state. But Meghalaya has been one of the bravest states to fight back with COVID-19. This month, our cover story gives you, an indepth story on how Meghalaya has won the pandemic. A leader is best when he has a vision and ability to translate his vision into a reality. To achieve this, the person must have management skill of doing things right. Doing right things at the right time is the quality of a true leader, which Mr. A.L.Hek, Minister Health, Meghalaya possess. With his experience of politics in the last 25 years, he has gained that leadership, which was truly put into action during COVID-19. The leadership of Mr. A.L.Hek, was exceptionally matured, who worked day and night to ensure lowest possible death due to COVID-19. It is to his credit that he could inspire the bureaucrats and the community simultaneously, which helped him in achieving the desired results. The bureaucrats were supposed to be the most intelligent people, are rarely, seen working so hard, as they did during COVID-19. The scientific management, daily review meetings, sealing of entry points and collection of samples, distribution of food by NGO and participation of the entire community made Meghalaya proud in the country. World Health Organization (WHO) too had appreciation for Meghalaya and observed that Meghalaya has given a lesson to the entire country on how community can come together in combating COVID-19.
Leaders when speak, makes an impact in the minds of the people. When Mr. Conrad Sangma Chief Minister Meghalaya tweeted “As per the food, as far as possible, no one should go hungry”. When Mr. A.L Hek Minister of Health said, “I will see that minimum damage is done and maximum life is saved”. The Director of Health Services Dr. Aman Warr was asked by me that from where he gets energy to work for 22 hours a day. His reply was very simple. “God gave us the strength”. All these positive statements were inspiring and brought people together and they worked together to ultimately win the war of COVID-19. Small but influential trading communities arranged water tanks in every nook and corner for washing of hands. These are still being filled by Shillong Municipal Board and so far all of them are intact. To our knowledge, none of them has been stolen so far.
The moral of the story is that at the time of crisis everyone responds to their responsibilities. It also signifies that if we all join hands together, miracle can take place.
Mother Nature has its own plan. It does punish mankind almost in every century. Is COVID-19 a crush of Mother Nature or a blessing? Cannot say. But one good thing has also emerged from this crisis is that people are more sensitive to their health and habits, which in the long run, will be more beneficial to mankind. The good thing is also that COVID Vaccine has already come to the market and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his vaccination on March 1, 2021 assuring people that it is safe.