Another step pro-people
Policy decisions of the Delhi government led by Aam Admi Party (AAP) are known to come with a primary focus on betterment and ease for the common man in Delhi. Adding to the list of its pro-people initiatives, the AAP-led Delhi government has launched another campaign well in time to tackle the menace of dengue and chikungunya in the national capital. As far as statistics go, it is claimed that there has been an 80 per cent decline in the number of cases since AAP's ascension to power in 2015. Close to 15,867 cases of dengue and chikungunya were reported in 2015 and 2,798 cases were reported in 2018. In 2019 so far, at least seventy five cases have been reported. Reduction in cases of these seasonal diseases cannot be managed exclusively by the government at the helm; the participation of people is crucial to make this initiative a success and so, the government went on to request the people of Delhi to proactively participate in this campaign in a very simple manner that people should spare just 10 minutes every Sunday to control the spread of these vector-borne diseases by making sure to avoid stagnation of water. In 2015, 7 deaths were reported due to dengue and chikungunya, four deaths were reported in 2018 and in 2019, till date, no deaths have been reported. In order to prevent the spread of such monsoon diseases in Delhi, numerous measures have been implemented by the government which include setting up of over 500 fever clinics and addition to the existing mohallah clinics besides appointing nodal officers in all hospitals where exclusive dengue beds have been arranged. Private hospitals have been allowed to increase 20 per cent capacity of dengue and chikunguniya this season. These provisions are in addition to the dengue control cells put in place to prevent the spread of the disease and generate awareness about dengue and chikungunya. The AAP government has been up in arms against these seasonal ailments and are leaving no stone unturned to keep the figures from increasing. The intention is to facilitate a significant drop in the cases of seasonal vector-borne diseases and get permanent relief from dengue and chikungunya. This dengue-control programme is spread across 10 weeks with 10-10-10 point focus: 10 o'clock every Sunday for 10 minutes for 10 weeks, the residents of the national capital will check around their home and surroundings for any mosquito-breeding spots.
It is important to note that this large scale awareness programme has been made possible with the help of the existing and very well-functioning system of mohallah clinics which were introduced by the same AAP to provide easy medical attention to the common man in Delhi and reduce the humongous pressure on doctors and bigger hospitals. This scheme has been so popular that the residents have been coming forward in large numbers to offer their private spaces on a standard rent to the Delhi government to set up more mohallah clinics. It is acknowledged that the numbers of dengue and chikungunya-infected patients have increased across the country but this trend has been reversed in Delhi. Health education has been consistently a primary focus of the incumbent Delhi government. In the first year of coming to power, the AAP government increased the health budget by 14 per cent. Today, the budget is around ₹7,800 crore. The last four years have seen an unprecedented improvement in healthcare infrastructure. The onslaught of dengue and chikungunya during Monsoon is only too obvious. So, addressing this seasonal irregularity, the programme is put in place with a view to approaching a permanent solution to this menace. Of course, as much as health initiatives and efforts to bring education to the poorest section of residents of Delhi have come to define the Aam Admi Party, the tussle with the government at the Centre makes as much news. A range of programmes and initiatives including registering residents of unauthorised colonies, announcing a one-time waiver of water arrears, free ride for women in the metro, etc., there have been conflicts with the Central government consistently. To the credit of AAP, general education across the city has seen a massive improvement, particularly in higher education; the foundation stone of two more universities are laid. This is a matter of long-term governance; with respect to immediate matters, educating people in ways to keep vector-borne diseases at bay this Monsoon season is expected to show favourable results. The AAP's pro-people policies are such that it even became an election issue in a state as far away as Meghalaya where this had become a subject of discussion prior to the Assembly election in the state in 2016 when AAP was considered as an alternative to BJP. Indeed, pro-people policies not only win hearts and elections but also improve the society in many desirable ways.