A web panel discussion on ‘Humanity at Peril? Anthropocene to Coronacene’ was jointly organized by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and the United India Anthropology Forum (UIAF) in collaboration with the Anthropos India Foundation (AIF) on 25th May 2021. This web-panel discussion endeavoured to spell out both sides of the coin: the Covid pronounced inequities and the humanitarian gestures. It was graced by eminent persons from institutions of national and international repute. The target group of this web-panel discussion was Anthropologists, members of the teaching fraternity, researchers across the globe. The Core-Committee Members and Senior Functionaries, Faculty Members, Project Staff, Students and Alumni of KISS and KISS-DU also adorned the occasion.
Moderating the session, Dr. Sunita Reddy, Associate Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the Founder Member of Anthropos India Foundation introduced the panelists and gave a brief concept based on the topic of discussion and raised some of the moot questions to be answered by the panelists in their deliberation. She said: “Corona is the wake-up call for all of us as humanity is hanging on the edge and is at peril.” Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor of KISS-DU and General President of United India Anthropological Forum (UIAF) presented a brief profile of the organizing (KISS and UIAF) and collaborating (AIF) institutions and gave a preface to the prestigious World Anthropology Congress to be jointly organized by KISS, Delhi University, Sambalpur University, Utkal University, and Government of Odisha in 2023. Speaking on the relevance of organizing the event on such an alarming issue, he said: “KISS is fulfilling its social responsibility in creating awareness on breaking the chain.” He connected the dots between the topic of the web-panel, cyclone ‘Yaas’, and the pandemic.
Professor Ritu Priya, Professor of Public Health, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU spoke on Epidemiology of Covid-19 and its control. In her address, Prof. Ritu touched upon the health planning cycle and pushed prioritizing for improvement. She concluded by underlining the status of health care and the problems associated with it. In his address, Dr. Jayakumar C, Associate Professor, Centre for Psychosocial Support in Disaster Management, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS, Bengaluru), elaborated on the psychosocial impact (individual, family, and community) of Covid-19 and its sequel. He said: “There are two aspects: combating the outbreak and the related updates and knowledge. One should work on building resilience to manage stress. NIMHANS is running a Helpline portal and we have succeeded in identifying some key issues during distress calls”, added Dr. Jayakumar.
Speaking on the topic, Dr. Jayaprakas Ravan, Professor in Psychiatry, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), said: “In the first wave the senior citizens faced boldly and the children and mothers are warriors on e-learning and keeping families together, respectively whereas in the second wave there was slow and sporadic vaccination, covid appropriate behavior was blurred in public and the virus started mutating very fast and became more virulent and lethal, no one is safe until everyone is safe.” Speaking in turn, Dr. Vipin Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi through statistical data underscored on Variants vaccines and human behavior, Burdens of testing, Dynamics of Viral Analyte, RNA, Protein, and Antibody, Vaccine Efficacy and Immunogenicity of Covid-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating mothers. Dr. Satish Ranjan, Molecular Immunologist, and Covid-19 Consultant, Germany and Scientific Advisor, Government of Nagaland highlighted the Pathophysiology of Covid-19, the general classification of mild, moderate, and severe, treatment in Covid-19 based on scientific studies, the longevity of immunity post-natural viral infection, different vaccines in India, consequences of mixing two different vaccines, side effects and who are not recommended to take it. His presentation embraced the questions asked by the participants.
Professor S. Gregory, Member Secretary, United India Anthropology Forum (UIAF) proposed the formal vote of thanks on behalf of the organizers.