Individuals, regardless of their race, origin, age or gender, across the globe are being impacted by Unprecedented occasions like today entire world is facing during Covid 19 or in past during World Wars I & II. As of June 8th 2020, had 1 Crore 08 Lakh confirmed cases of COVID and 70 to 85 Million people died during these Wars.
Thankfully, countless doctors, nurses, and first responders demonstrate their heroic sacrifices during such tough times––they give up time with loved ones, self-care, and their own personal safety to fight the disease. Their personal and professional sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Luckily, the non-profit sector has too responses during such times like Red Cross, UNO, WHO and many NGO’s. With the help of several lakhs of volunteers and other organizations, it is so very clear––philanthropy shifts from business as usual to being bold and innovative.
During these trying times, we must act as responsible and responsive Citizens.
Additionally, average citizens, such as you and me, can make a difference by donating to a local relief fund. By supporting these response funds or your local response fund, we can lessen the immediate, mid- and long-term effects of situation arising from such Tough times. We should contribute to community-based emergency relief funds––unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.
What’s keeps us going are the heart-warming stories. A few of the many has been penned down below from Covid 19:
Javed (name changed) is a daily wager residing in Bangalore. Living with his wife and granddaughter, the pandemic became extremely burdensome on him and made him helpless. Battling with cancer, he isn’t physically fit to do any kind of work. In spite of adverse circumstances, working as a wager is his response to the huge responsibilities he has on his shoulder as the only breadwinner in his family. With no financial assistance to support Abdul’s treatment, and no money to provide for his medication and basic amenities, hope was the only thing which kept him going. Donor’s generosity restored Javed’s hope and gave his family a sigh of relief.
Truly said, “It is because of hope that you suffer. It is through hope that you’ll change things”
“This is the story of 27-year old Ruksar (name changed), a mother of three young children whose husband was convicted two year back and is serving sentence. Shunned by the family and neighbours, Ruksar lives in a small dilapidated room in a slum near Mayurvihar, New Delhi. She took up odd work in houses to sustain her family. She often slept hungry, but her only solace was that after a hard day’s work, she could give a full meal to her children, and this kept her going. When we at ICC spoke to her, we found her absolutely broken. More than any assistance, she needed someone to speak with, someone to just tell her that this too shall pass, that she will be able to protect and nurture her kids with the same dignity with which she has managed all these years!”
There are so many Ruksars who need financial assistance and a friend they can speak with!
Each of these stories are unique and speaks volume of the hardships and undying hope.
I have been saying for a while that these times are “crisis like no other and it needs measures like no other.” It is:
More complex, with interlinked shocks to our health and our economies that have brought our way of life to an almost complete stop; More uncertain, as we learn only gradually how to treat such situations, make containment most effective, and restart our economies; and truly global. Pandemics and wars don’t respect borders. If we talk about Covid-19 only we expect global economic activity to decline on a scale we have not seen since the Great Depression. This year 170 countries will see income per capita go down—only months ago we were projecting 160 economies to register positive per capita income growth.
But there is much more to be done and now is the time to look ahead. To quote a great Canadian, Wayne Gretzky: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”
We need to think hard about where such crises are headed and how we can be ready to help our fellow citizens or society, being mindful of both risks and opportunities. Just as we responded strongly in the initial phase of the crisis to avoid lasting scars for the global economy.
If we discuss specifically about Covid-19 period I am also particularly concerned about emerging markets and developing countries. For our poorest peoples, we need much more concessional financing. With the peak of the outbreak still ahead, many economies will require significant fiscal outlays to tackle the health crisis and minimize bankruptcies and job losses, while facing mounting external financing needs.
But more lending may not always be the best solution for everyone. During such times crisis is adding to high debt burdens and many could find themselves on an unsustainable path.
We therefore need to contemplate new approaches, working closely with other international institutions, as well as the private sector, to help countries steer through this crisis and emerge more resilient.
Countries need to venture even further outside our comfort zone to consider whether exceptional measures might be needed in this exceptional crisis.
Actions expected from Governments and Societies
Exceptional times call for exceptional action. In many ways, there has been a ‘response like no other’.
To help lay the foundations for a strong recovery, our policy advice will need to adapt to evolving realities. We need to have a better understanding of the specific challenges, risks, and trade-offs facing every country as they gradually restart their economies and health sectors.
Key questions include how long to maintain the extraordinary stimulus and unconventional policy measures, and how to unwind them; dealing with high unemployment and “lower-for-longer” interest rates; preserving financial stability; and, where needed, facilitating sectoral adjustment and private sector debt workouts.
We also must not forget about long-standing challenges that require a collective response, such as reigniting trade as an engine for growth; sharing the benefits of fintech and digital transformation which have demonstrated their usefulness during this crisis; and combating climate change—where stimulus to reinforce the recovery could also be guided to advance a green and climate resilient economy.
Finally, we simply cannot take social cohesion for granted. So we must support Societies efforts in calibrating their social policies to reduce inequality, protect vulnerable people, and promote access to opportunities for all.
This are moments that tests our humanity. It must be met with solidarity.
There is much uncertainty about the shape of our future. But we can also embrace this crisis as an opportunity—to craft a different and better future together.
Very rightly said “Tough Times Don’t Last but Tough People Do”