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Covid-19 and us

Considered to be a time of despair and helplessness was also one of national collectivism and empathy unifying the nation with innate humanness. True, there were hard times and we felt that this is apocalypse, but then we saw people going out of their way to support each other with unprecedented zest and ownership with the society.

While De Haath Society also conducted collection and distribution drives, several lacs of people across the nation donated cash, kind and also by sacrificing their impulse to go out. Frontline workers made sure that people were safe and to ensure that the cashflow and medical care did not come to a standstill banks and medical workers and companies worked as much as they could. It was in these trying times one also witnessed the love we share for our four-legged friends who stay on the road. Government and non-government organisations and individuals of all ages supported each other in these trying times. We also acknowledge that there were gaps and certainly things could have been better and can still be bettered but there is always scope for improvement.

While this is going on and we are all still working hard, I would like to share why was this model of support so effective. The coming together of the entire nation against a common enemy of covid-19 was the biggest strength in this battle.

It is clear that an intervention which is supported by almost all stakeholders of the society with such an organic coordination will yield result sooner or later.

It was possible to distribute ration because someone sent money, some sent ration and several others volunteered and used government infrastructure to make these available at the right place and time. And the same applies to all the relief provided by the government or non-government bodies. The results by the cohesion in efforts is an illustration of our way of bringing social change, i.e. by collective action. We firmly believe that a small contribution by every member. We need to reflect on the point that if we can support each other and survive through such a pandemic, how beautiful our world can be if we do this for the rest of our lives and help our fellow countrymen overcome marginalisation and deprivation? Our motto of collective action speaks of students who can volunteer, organisations who can support by infrastructure and people who work pitching in small amounts of money. It will be such a fruitful effort if all of us step forward and continue to contribute to marginalised communities. Covid-19 illustrated the fact that social action needs time and should be structured and consistent. A lot of NGOs and civil society groups need small steady fund flow to work on education and health so that their efforts can be sustained. Small recurrent donations may mean sacrificing a meal at a restaurant or a movie per month, but if collectively and regularly done by all of us, it may mean a healthy and educated child or a disease-free family.

Ultimately, the pandemic era has not yet passed and has already changed the way we live. Several of us have done something for the social cause for the first time. Migrant labourers, handicraft artisans and people living in ghettos are in most pain, covid or not. They along with others will need support for quite some time. We as citizens of a healthy society will have to contribute and invest in social inclusion for sustainable development.

Take care. Stay safe.

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