Mumbai, June 03: In a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the rural areas, the Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced a " "corona free village" contest with prize money up to Rs 50 lakh. According to the govt, this will encourage people of rural areas to follow appropriate COVID-19 behavior.
Talking about the initiative launched by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif said, "The main aim of the contest is to make talukas, districts and ultimately, the entire state of Maharashtra corona-free as soon as possible."
According to the state govt, the participating villages will be judged based on 22 criteria by a committee set up for this purpose. There will be a total of 18 prizes as there are six revenue divisions in the state. The village panchayat which wins the first prize will get Rs 50 lakh, second of Rs 25 lakh and third of Rs 15 lakh.
The prize money will be given to the best three village panchayats that excel in COVID-19 management. The winning villages will also get an additional amount equal to the prize money as encouragement.
Earlier, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray during, his virtual address, praised the 21-year-old Ruturaj Deshmukh, the youngest sarpanch in Maharashtra. for keeping his village COVID-19 free using micro-management methods.Deshmukh ((21) is a sarpanch of the Ghatnevillage that has a population of 1,500. The village had not reported any COVID-19 cases from March 2020 to April 2021.
According to the state health ministry, Maharashtra has recorded 15,169 cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.