Gurgaon: The three-part webinar series on ‘Towards New Social Welfare Architecture of Gurugram,’ 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 NCT 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 situation also highlighted the limited availability of cost-efficient rental accommodation to meet the needs of the migrant population in and around NCR.
To understand these challenges and steps to be taken by various authorities in addressing the concerns of the citizens, MDI Gurgaon has been holding a discussion with key stakeholders to deliberate upon the welfare architecture which is woefully inadequate not just in an emergency situation, but even for ‘normal’ times.
After, hosting back to back two webinars on significant topics, MDI Gurgaon concluded the series with third and the last webinar in the series on topic Corona Crisis: The Road Ahead”. The panelists included experts such as Mr. Amit Khatri – Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram, Ms. Mukta Naik – Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar – Professor, HRM Area, XLRI Jamshedpur, Mr. Ashok Saigal – Co-Chairperson, CII MSME Committee & MD & Co-Founder, Frontier Technologies, and Prof. Arun Kumar – Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences.
Mr. Amit Khatri – Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram said, “The crisis saw a tremendous turnout of volunteers – civil defense, citizens and companies. 99% of medical supplies came from corporates. The proactive efforts of citizens have to be applauded.”
Prof. Arun Kumar – Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences highlighted that implementation of successful lockdown is difficult due to the huge poverty prevalent in the country. He discussed how various countries in the world are dependent on one another. Due to this pandemic the global supply chain got impacted. He also discussed the inefficiencies of Central Bank policies. He mentioned about the recovery of economy and demand will take some time and will not be a V-shaped recovery but rather a U-shaped recovery for the economy as neither the demand for discretionary items nor investment will pick up for some time.
Ms. Mukta Naik – Fellow, Centre for Policy Research discussed the plight of daily wage earners in the city of Gurgaon and highlighted that most of the workers working in Gurgaon are from the outside of the district as well as the state. She also mentioned that workers are excluded from various facilities such as basic civil infrastructure starting from water, electricity to voting rights etc.
Mr. Ashok Saigal – Co-Chairperson, CII MSME Committee & MD & Co-Founder, and Frontier Technologies presented the views of MSME sector, where the impact of the pandemic on the migrant workers & industry was discussed. He highlighted that the city of Gurgaon is majorly driven by MSME industries that in turn drives 2-3 major manufacturers in the city. Mr. Saigal talked about the role of MSMEs in rescuing their workers by providing wages for full month including the non- productive period during the onset of lockdown.
Dr. K.R. Shyam Sundar – Professor, HRM Area, XLRI Jamshedpur highlighted that Covid 19 pandemic handling at the level of governance was a policy disaster because relief measures were hugely inadequate, mis-targetted, ill-conceived and thus did not work. Dr. Shyam Sundar also highlighted how the Covid 19 disaster has been used to tweak labour laws in the country by various state governments. He mentioned that the need of the hour is to have a social dialogue with various stakeholders regarding the changes in labour laws so that there is positive outcome of the changes.
The panelists shared their insights on the problems and best practices adopted during COVID-19. The dialogues created in the webinars will be shared with relevant government stakeholders.