28 Jul 2020 21:18 IST

MDI Gurgaon hosts webinar series on welfare architecture in emergency state

Discussions aim to understand challenges faced by the unorganised sector due to the pandemic

The three-part webinar series ‘Towards new social welfare architecture of Gurugaon,’ conducted by MDI Gurgaon concluded with a discussion on “Corona crisis: The Road Ahead.” The concluding chapter of the webinar series focused on how planning of a new welfare architecture for the millennium city (covering NCR of Delhi) will help local authorities and government to be better prepared for the future crisis.

The subsequent lockdowns imposed due to coronavirus outbreak have altered life and left a traumatic impact on most of the urban areas in India. These lockdowns also left thousands of migrant workers stranded with no food. The limited availability of cost-efficient rental accommodation to meet the needs of the migrant population in and around NCR is worrisome.

To understand these challenges and steps to be taken by various authorities in addressing the concerns of the citizens, MDI Gurgaon held a discussion with key stakeholders to deliberate upon the welfare architecture, woefully inadequate not just in an emergency situation but even for ‘normal’ times.

The panelists of the third webinar session included experts such as Amit Khatri, Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram; Mukta Naik, Fellow, Centre for Policy Research; KR Shyam Sundar, Professor, HRM Area, XLRI Jamshedpur; Ashok Saigal, Co-Chairperson, MD and Co-Founder Frontier Technologies; and Prof Arun Kumar, Malcolm S Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences.

Amit Khatri, Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram said, “The crisis saw a tremendous turnout of volunteers, from civil defence, citizens and companies. And 99 per cent of medical supplies came from corporates. The proactive efforts of citizens have to be applauded.”

Prof Arun Kumar highlighted that the successful implementation of lockdown is difficult due to poverty in our country. He also discussed the inefficiencies of central bank policies, recovery of Indian economy, and how it will not be a V-shaped recovery but rather a U-shaped recovery as neither the demand for discretionary items nor investment will pick up for some time.

Mukta Naik discussed the plight of daily wage earners in the city of Gurgaon and mentioned that these workers are excluded from various facilities such as basic civil infrastructure, from water and electricity to voting rights.

Ashok Saigal andFrontier Technologies, presented his views on the role of MSMEs in rescuing their workers by providing wages for a full month including the non-productive period during the onset of lockdown.

KR Shyam Sundar said that the handling of Covid-19 pandemic was a policy disaster because relief measures were hugely inadequate, mistargeted, ill-conceived, and thus did not work. Shyam Sundar also elaborated on the Covid-19 disaster and mentioned that the need of the hour is to have a social dialogue with various stakeholders regarding changes in labour laws to ensure a positive outcome.

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