Necessity is the mother of invention- The fight for survival

19 million jobs. Gone.

Those are the number of jobs that covid-19 has taken away from us so far this year.

 As per The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy  data 19 million salaried people in India have lost their jobs due to the CoronaVirus diseases 2019 pandemic.  The Times of India reported that around 38% of startups have run out of funds and around 4% have shutdown 

In fact, the Bengaluru-based food delivery major Swiggy reported in May that it would lay off 1100 employees, and shut down some of its businesses due to the  COVID-19 Crisis.The government of India has made a few provisions such as relief packages to MSMEs. RBI has also swung into action with a loan repayment moratorium which defers loan repayments by 3 months. The Maharashtra government has announced a reduction in Power tariff across consumer categories to help businesses.

While other state governments have also announced relief measures, their impact is yet to be seen.  A very glaring example of misuse was seen when ₹ 6000/-per person announced as relief to migrant labourers was usurped by some official staff and others as pseudo labourers.

So how have small and medium businesses, startups and the common man affected by this pandemic managed to survive? Did people grab the last straw as they tried to avoid sinking in the economic slowdown? Well, apparently some did. Companies jumped to a different business altogether. The company Sahas Softech based in Mumbai, which previously dealt in 3D printing started production of masks and face shields after getting hit by the pandemic.  Liquor manufacturing companies like Tonia Distilleries and paint manufacturing  companies like Asian Paints started manufacturing sanitizers. An engineer  friend has started a fruit and vegetable delivery business.

Coaching centres like Aakash and ByJu’s changed the mode of operation by starting and expanding online classes so that their businesses could survive. People have made a complete turnabout in their fields.They have discovered new avenues of making ends meet.  Barbers started making house calls on appointment as their shops closed down.  Many youngsters utilised their lands to grow vegetables and sell the produce. Seamen who were sent back home, as cruise liners downed their tours, have started their own food delivery businesses. Some of them have even started supplying fish door to door in Goa.                            

A few NGOs have come in to help the poorer sections of the society As reported in The Hindu over 55 NGOs have helped the  Bengaluru city authorities to supply food to people. In its Relief mission the Goonj foundation has reached out to over 17000 families with ration kits. The Times of India reported how the ARZ foundation (Anyay  Rahit  Zindagi) provided women whose husbands have lost jobs  with an opportunity to earn a living by making duppatas and scarves .

The pandemic has been a test of resilience for the people of India. It has been a fight for survival. While many are still suffering, innovations have seen the light of the day as people adapt to the new normal. We are aware that the effects of this crisis will be long lasting, however, the phoenix will rise again.

Nivida Sadekar

FY BSc Eco(20-23)

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