Covid-19 has changed the world fundamentally. With nations in lockdown to protect their people and businesses on hold, the wheels of economic growth have been brought to a halt.
But like everything else, this too shall pass. And when it is gone, the countries with proper plans will take a lead. We have to make sure we are ready for the new world post- coronavirus. There are many steps that we can take now to make sure post lockdown, our systems are ready for economic growth. If we can do scenario planning, we, as a country, will win.
The major challenge is to accelerate the strategies and utilise the available resources towards the faster revival and reconstruction of economic activities along with a fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The obvious questions are whether our policy framework and strategies need additional inputs in improving the design and approach to facilitate faster and effective measures for reviving the rural economy, the kind of institutional reforms required to speed-up the processes, and the kinds of human-centric, short-term, medium-term and long-term measures that are needed towards faster and inclusive economic recovery.
In Maharashtra alone 5,172 children have lost one of their parents to the deadly virus; while 162 children have lost both their parents. Besides, the last eighteen months have widowed many women who were least prepared for such an eventuality. Thus Covid-19 has claimed over 15,095 lives of sole bread winners of many families. What’s more, the lock down has robbed countless registered and unorganized workforce of their livelihood. At present there are 12 lacs registered workers in the state; there are 80 lacs who belong to the organized workforce and 1 crore and 65 lacs who form the unorganized workforce.
Social For Action is committed to pooling its expertise and experience to support Maharashtra in its crisis response measures and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. SFA believes we need to develop long-term sustainable strategies to address the challenges facing the health and agri-food sectors. Priority is to be given to addressing underlying food security and malnutrition challenges, tackling rural poverty, in particular through more and better jobs in the rural economy, extending social protection to all, facilitating safe migration pathways and promoting the formalization of the informal economy.
‘Social for Action’s Rebuilding Maharashtra campaign aims at establishing a network of active non-profit organizations in Maharashtra, and bring the neglected and rejected sections of the society into the mainstream on the path of progress.
To do this, i.e., to bring women, children, displaced workers, the elderly, homeless and unsupported and all those adversely affected by corona and the locked downs under the umbrella of mainstream of progress, SFA has started this initiative to Rebuild Maharashtra.
We must rethink the future of our environment and tackle climate change and environmental degradation with ambition and urgency. Only then can we protect the health, livelihoods, food security and nutrition of all people, and ensure that our ‘new normal’ is a better one.