Lives and Livelihood – 2020 and Beyond

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Today as we celebrate our independence day, I can’t help but reflect back on the past 5 months and draw a parallel between this new albeit a short lived war of independence. We are in our own ways fighting for a new freedom; not from tyranny, imperialism or oppression, but freedom from a virus, so vicious in its design that it has brought the entire world to a grinding halt; Millions have been infected, hundreds of thousands have died, economies have crumbled and lives shattered.

Vaccines are expected, treatments are getting better, mortality rates are falling each day but the long term ramifications and impact of COVID will take months if not years to recover from. I am in no way suggesting or comparing the struggle & sacrifices made to gain India’s Independence with the hardships we are facing during the pandemic, but today more than ever it is important to bring back a community lead movement, movement that is for the people, by the people of the people.

While the government, administration and COVID Warriors are working tirelessly to expedite our journey towards normalcy, we as citizens should also take up more responsibility. Our first step should be empowering citizen groups to educate and counsel the neighbourhood of their locality in early detection, contact tracing, quarantine facilities and hospitalization. A community needs to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves and the vulnerable by adhering to strict protocols of self-hygiene, wearing masks the right way, social distancing and emphasising on early treatment and care.

Our first step should be empowering citizen groups to educate and counsel the neighbourhood of their locality in early detection, contact tracing, quarantine facilities and hospitalization.

Going forward the administration needs to strike the right balance between lives and livelihood, have a well-defined and targeted strategy. A resilient plan around the economic revival and healthcare infrastructure that will be able to sustain all the challenges we will face in the near future.

 I truly believe that planning should use a data-driven approach to identify the right areas to focus on and define sustainable policies around them. The right healthcare and economic policies will help us bounce back at a faster rate. With contact-less operations gaining importance across sectors in the post-COVID world, the IT and automation sectors are predicted to grow in the coming years. Pune being a host to so many IT and manufacturing industries, we should plan the growth around the ecosystem of these sectors. Making use of all the educational institutions and the infrastructure available for online courses, we should help create the right talent and carry out upskilling activities for the same.

Making use of all the educational institutions and the infrastructure available for online courses, we should help create the right talent and carry out upskilling activities for the same.

It is only by coming together as a society that we will not only control the spread of the virus, but also help each other out of this economic slumber. I am an eternal optimist, I believe in the goodness of people and the inane ability of Indians to survive and thrive in situations that most give up on, and with the right planning, co-operation, and the will of Punekars, am positive we will come back even stronger! 

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