Atmanirbhar Bante hai – Being self-reliant

Author: Namratha Singh

According to the census in 2019, India’s population is 136.64 crores. It is estimated that India’s population has grown to 140 crores or 1.395 Billion people. India spans over 3.87 million square kilometers, of which livable area is 2.97 million square kilometers. This means our population density is 460 people, every km². Let’s compare this to the world. The world’s population is 767.35 crores. The world’s area is 148,940,000 km² of which no more than 10% of it is habitable. Therefore, the world’s population density is about 15 people, every km².

Do you see the problem now?

PopulationHabitable AreaAverage Population Density km²Average Population Density m²

In A+ cities and metros, the population density is much larger. In places like Dharavi in Mumbai or the nearby worker community housing in our own cities, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to keep socially distant.

Some of us, however, are blessed. We live in homes where each one of us can have a room for ourselves. People like us have no excuse. Stay in! That’s the first step towards being self-reliant. The power of ending this pandemic is within each one of us. But, this is not a fight we can win alone. We can only win this together.

How can we be self-reliant?


As a personal lifestyle

  1. Stop watching the news. There is nothing one can do by obsessing over the numbers. It’s not in one’s control. After a point, all it does is drive up anxiety levels.
  2. Build your immunity.
    1. Practice Pranayama at home, or blow 15-20 balloons. This helps exercise the muscles needed for your lungs to function optimally and potentially increase capacity.
    2. Workout for at least 30 minutes a day. It could be floor exercises, Leslie Walk or Yoga.
  3. Eat healthily. Include greens and seasonal, locally available fruits and vegetables.
  4. Practice meditation or pray with a sense of gratitude. Mental health is vital as well.

As a community

Information is all over the place and the resources change all the time. The best thing one can do is to form a focus group in your community and track the items below.

  1. Be in touch with local authorities. If you see more than 5% of your community strength showing signs or symptoms, lockdown immediately and get your community tested with the help of local governing authorities.
  2. Encourage people to stay home and venture out when critical, only.
  3. Organize vaccination camps. Vaccinations are the way to go. They will not protect you from all variants, but they will protect you from most.
  4. Find out about bed availability in nearby hospitals. In cases of emergency, nearby ones are your best best.
  5. Be in touch with a pharmacist for procuring medicines.
  6. Be in touch with a medical supplier for procuring Oxygen or renting concentrators.



Personal Care Kit

  1. Be in touch with your family’s physician. During these times, your family physician is your belief. Doctors have kept themselves updated about the latest medicines that can provide relief or the new protocols being issued by the center’s disease control unit.
  2. Thermometer. If ever you have a fever that persists for more than 2 days and is over 100 degrees celsius, talk to your doctor via teleconferencing. 
  3. Paracetamol. This will be your first step towards keeping that temperature down.
  4. Pulse Oximeter. This is going to help you monitor your oxygen. Anytime it reaches 94% or below, it’s time to go to the hospital upon consultation with your doctor.
  5. Nebulizer / Jal Neti Pot. This will keep your sinuses clean. Practicing Jal Neti has proven benefits for sleep apnea as well.
  6. BP Machine for hypertensive individuals
  7. Glucometer for diabetic individuals.

Community Care Kit

  1. Procure masks and sanitizers.
  2. Procure a cylinder or concentrator for your community, or, find out how you can procure one in case of emergency. Oxygen is your best friend in case of emergency till you reach a hospital.
  3. Practice COVID appropriate community behavior. Don’t venture out unless needed.
  4. Sanitize common areas often.



  1. Be in touch with your family physician.
  2. Stay hydrated.
  3. Have hot nutritious food rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. 
  4. Practice Jal Neti / steaming and gargle with saltwater.
  5. Check temperature every 3 hours.
  6. Check Oxygen every 3 hours.
  7. Use separate utensils and clothes.
  8. Sanitize often.
  9. Incorporate physical and mental activities while in quarantine.
  10. Take any supplements prescribed.

When to seek help in a medical facility

  1. Act as per your physician’s advice.
  2. Report temperature greater than 100-degree celsius immediately
  3. Report oxygen saturation less than 94% immediately.
  4. Report if you are facing extreme tiredness or fatigue.



Wikipedia Population Density