How COVID-19 reveals a bigger picture of INDIA?

Monisha Wamankar
Monisha Wamankar
Mar 29 , 2020 16 min read 346 Views Likes 0 Comments
How COVID-19 reveals a bigger picture of INDIA?

"Corona"- The word which our ears are hearing the most currently.

After the lockdown, the routine lives of people have been disrupted to a great extent. Some are enjoying while others are craving for things to return back to normal.

The irony is, there is silence on the roads yet chaos like never before.

What has plunged me into grief the most is the pathetic condition that the Indian marginalized section is facing at the present. 

The picture of their agony is clearly in front of us. Hopefully, things will get better with time. 

But, there's another picture on a deeper level that has struck me hard. 

With the different sectors and industries projecting their respective economic losses and no.of people who would lose their jobs in the future, it is uncertain that what the wave after the pandemic will bring for the urban marginal workers.

I always knew that 'unemployability' was a bigger issue in India then 'unemployment'. But for the last few days, I have realized this even more. 

Let's take a turn from here!

Agriculture serves as the skeleton of the Indin economy, yet it is the most suffered sector. Imagine if these workers who migrate from villages to cities in the search of livelihood could suffice their needs through engaging them into agricultural activities, how different the picture could have been!

A doctor's child wants to be a doctor.

An IAS officer's child wants to become an IAS.

But the son of a farmer doesn't want to become a farmer.

Why?

Because we have failed their trust.

The unpredictability of monsoon with drastic changes in climate has further accentuated the problem. Governments come and go. The measures which are taken to boost the agricultural sector aren't concrete. Rather than aiming at introducing technologies and new models, we concentrate more on appealing the farmers through loan waving, subsidies, etc. 

If we can provide people with jobs in their own villages through agriculture, this can have many benefits:

  • The revival of Indin agriculture in its true spirit.
  • Less migration hence less burden on urban areas.
  • Better facilities in the rural sector and emancipation of the rural public.
Now you may think:

What about the industrial and manufacturing sector? Even they need a workforce!

Yes indeed, in fact, the unorganized sector contributes almost 80% to the Indian economy. I do want people to choose these sectors too but not because of the reason that they don't want to choose agriculture owing to limited or no scope in it.

Let's come to these sectors - industrial and manufacturing- whose workforce are the most hit due to coronavirus.

Job uncertainty is everywhere. It exists for me too as a private employee. But then, what's the simple difference between me and a scared construction worker, for instance?

I have the confidence that I will be able to earn anyhow even if I lose my job today. I can secure a job and sustain myself and my family.

And, where does this confidence come from?

  • My education
  • My skills
  • and the way I have built myself in the last 23 years (personally and professionally).
The above is exactly what most of the people belonging to the unorganized sector lack. This leads them to get terrified about the future of themselves and their families.

What's the solution?

For the elderly- nothing but skill development. 

For the children- nothing but education.

From skill development, I don't mean giving primary training exposure and then leaving people to their fate. NO!

Skill development with an objective so that the population can be absorbed in the market. Additionally, this would mean govt. opening doors of opportunities for absorbing. And this goes for all the three sectors - industrial, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Earning money should be an objective but not the only one.

A few days back, I met a group of slum children who were rag pickers. Everyone in their family including small kids is involved in rag picking which fetches them some 5000/- each. Then why would the basic needs of education etc. even arise, right? They would be simply happy. And this would lead to - no education, no ability to distinguish between right and wrong, no skills to secure future, more crime, etc. etc.. Again, we will fail as a country.

But, then who would do the sweeping? rag picking? sewage cleaning?

Common, if we can't have machines for this now, then we are far....from even coming close to the idea of a developed nation. As a country, we have to put our efforts in this direction. I don't say that machines will replace people (that would, in fact, mean greater unemployment) but rather, what I mean is, better conditions and technology to assist these workers in their work. This will also mean better payscale and respect in society. The dawn of an era where sitting in the office on a computer will be the same (almost, at least) to working with a machine for cleaning (no manual scavenging and cleaning, it kills me!)

There is no meaning of becoming a 5 trillion economy if we can't feed each soul well and secure their future well. 

Charity is good. But you can feed someone for one day, month, years....and then? We need to make them self-independent. Each citizen of India should be self-independent.

When today I am seeing, people, weeping at the plightful sight of the marginal workers or clapping for the cleaning worker of their society, it seems to me that might be corona has come temporarily to draw our attention to a permanent problem that is existing.

I am confident that we will be able to win against this corona pandemic soon.

What I want to see is, how beautifully the bigger picture is crafted afterward.....

JAI HIND!

Keywords : Coronavirus COVID-19 coronavirus India Employment

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