The study was commissioned by the University Grants Commission. As part of the study, 36 field investigators assisted by a core team of six university faculty members conducted a door-to-door survey covering 342 households of five villages — Tellapur, Osman Nagar, Kolluru, Velmula and Vattinagulapally — in Ranga Reddy and Sangareddy districts. Data collection was undertaken on June 20 on five core aspects — awareness of COVID-19 and its implications, income and employment, social impact, health and administrative and policy measures — to address the specific objectives.
The study revealed that although identifying and controlling the local spread of COVID-19 within the communities, sanitisation, migrant management, benefits and entitlements such as food security schemes, old age pensions were efficient, there was a knowledge gap on various fronts.
“The studied communities and their respondents had good awareness with respect to the term coronavirus and its consequences but the attitude towards its serious consequences has not influenced them yet,” read the findings.
“While the mode of spread, transmission, prevention and home remedies for boosting immunity seemed adequate, newer updates of symptoms, seeking testing when symptomatic and modalities to seek further treatment and management seemed inadequate. Myths, misconceptions and stigma does exist,” it further added.
The UoH vice-chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile encouraged the research team to further extend the study for atleast six-month period in order to capture the life changes before, during and after Covid-19 especially related to the core social, health and behavioural domains and response by the rural communities.