A Humble Demand or a Practical Advice in the Times of a Pandemic - H. Vageeshan

This is an opportunity to the government(s), Union and the States, UTs, the private enterprises and to the philanthropic minded individuals and institutions to reach out to the last person. It is time to provide at least Rs 10,000 (Little more than Rs 300 per day or around 4$ or Three Pounds a day) per month for three months to all those workers in various unorganized sectors. No day of organized sector (Including Public and Private) passes without the affordable and many a time relatively cheap labor of the persons in the unorganized sector.   This must be over and above of providing food grains to them for sustain through Public Distribution System.
It is very important because of this more than 80 percentage of unorganized    work force run the country through their services at a very affordable cost to many people.

Unorganized sector and casual worker is the backbone of our economy. Let us accept it. , It is a reality which we cannot deny and governments and the. Private investors must not ignore. In fact the unorganized sector subsidies good living of few with their cheap labor. The best way to keep the millions at home is to give them an assurance against their hunger and want with this minimum support.  Another fact is they are the people who are exposed more to the vagaries of a pandemic.  Many of them lack nutritional security and are prone to get affected by the contagion fast. If recent Global hunger index is any indicator of the situation of nutritional security in India, we must think about this short term survival programme.

When Lock down of the country is the only solution  to flatten the spread of  pandemic curve , we - all the  relatively privileged - who can work from homes ( as we have work , home and  unfazed connectivity)- must tell the people in power to think and act seriously about this economic package. It will be not be fair to ask people without a rupee to ''sit at home''. Providing ration and this level of financial support are surely critical ways to keep millions at home without them feeling want to leave their homes (whatever may be the type of such homes).
Respresentational Picture
Source: Internet 
This is time to test the efficiency of our political will and our capacity to reach out to all those who are the important part of   our economy , many a time invisible and never spoken about in spite their all-round existence.    With given economic strength, banking network and new technologies tracking and reaching out to the last person identifying and reaching out to the various people in the unorganized is pretty possible. For example all registers workers in India's largest wage employment program MNREGA have either a bank account or a post office account. Reaching out to them is not a tough task. If the ruling system thinks positively then there are number of ways to deliver this goal. Now if the government really wants to know who are going to get very badly hit by the lock down it is not impossible.

For example the housemaid who keeps our houses clean at affordable price, the Auto wala who takes our children to school, the daily vegetable winders and the small former s who are the reason for our daily milk supply and vegetables all are persons laboring in organized sector. Add to these people those many casual, non-permanent low salaried workers various establishment (Private and Public) you can understand the width and depth of the unorganized sector economy.  There is a high probability of very hard knock to petty traders and small business with this lock out. We have seen a bad hit at them during the ill-fated demonetization which gave them a very bad time.  They are just now limping back somehow in these very tough economic down turn times even without COVID -19 scare.  Now this lock out without an economic program has an ability to prove counterproductive.

All of us who have voice, an ability to speak to power, an ability to afford to take risk of speaking, must speak to the government and the corporate to come out with   this minimum economic package. Individual philanthropy can complement it(  because it cannot t not be the only way out  for millions).Threat of this pandemic is making them immobile. Hence it is an imperative for the state and the wielders of the economic power to provide at least three months critical support to this work force. This is neither socialism, nor kind heart philanthropy. It is simple economics commonsense to   keep our economy alive and also to fight pandemic efficiently.

All governments must take people into confidence through showing their ability to deliver this basic minimum. We have the entire wherewithal and infrastructure to cater this simple three months support for millions. Political will and meticulous implementation is needed. It is possible the only thing required is political will and meaning full pushing from the capable people.

If governments come with such plans don't heckle it as '' giving free lunches''. It is not free lunch it is the cost someone has to pay for locking the country up for a month. If one has to face the pandemic with minimum human dignity these measures are a must let us accept it or at least think about it.

Governments in such crisis must have a Social program, Economic Program and a medical programmer. It seems the government heavily only on the social program. That is asking for self-quarantine and social distancing etc. But there is a need for serious economic programme.

As the lock down is very badly affected are the production (manufacturing) construction  and service sectors now supply and demand chains are worst effect this will affect forward and backward  linkages. All the major economists are seeing a very bad scenario because of the lock out.  The governments must think and act on war footing from o sector of after sector where you have massive workers from Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneurs ( MSME) , agriculture .

This minimum income and food supply will keep the basic purchasing capacity. The middle classes who are vocal and capable must speak out for the vulnerable. More over the government must also think of keeping basic supply chain to keep moving may be with relatively less work force. This is war like situation single point strategies will not really work, it is an imperative to government to sellout economic programmer and it is our patriotic duty to demand for it. It is neither unjust nor un realistic . 

About the Author: H.Vageeshan is a teacher of Political Science In NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad (Deccan),Telangana. He is interested in the arena of teaching and learning process, development studies, decentralized democracy, and empirical social science research. He likes reading books and meeting people and penning poetry. He is born in 1971.

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