New Delhi: At a time when showing care and concern for those at the bottom of the Pyramid has become absolutely essential and a new normal after Covid-19 lockdown, an insightful Webinar Lecture by Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus was organized by Amity University on “Rebuilding a Better World-Social Business during COVID Times”.
Prof Muhammad Yunus in his webinar shared a great promise to rebuild a better world of peace, harmony and inclusive development and called the discussion on the topic timely and pertinent.
He shared how young people are the real change makers of the world and Amity is playing a key role is preparing these individuals. Stating that this crisis is something that happens once in a lifetime, it is also one of the highest opportunities to do something that one cannot do in normal times. “This catastrophe is giving you an opportunity to do things in a magnified way. Bring all the creative ideas and thinking you have and don’t let this time slip away from you,” shared Prof. Yunus. He stated how corona has pushed people into confinement for the last few months and this generation is lucky to have experienced it.
“This crisis has also revealed some basic nature of the human beings. We worked all through history to come together to fight common enemy. Coronavirus is a common enemy at this point of time and we didn’t fight it together. Each nation acted individually ignoring even their neighbours and causing them harm with their actions. This is not a time to behave in a trivial way but to build coordinated efforts to fight together against this virus,” urged Prof. Yunus.
He further laid stress on the need to build a vaccine but warned against the big pharmaceutical companies claiming ownership, control and regulation in the distribution of the vaccine. “The vaccine, whenever is produced, should be declared a common global public good and be available to all,” added Prof. Yunus. He further shared if this is not followed it could lead to the production of fake vaccines. He urged for the creation of social business pharmaceutical companies and to develop corona virus vaccine as social business enterprise.
Talking about Life vs Livelihood, he shared that life is something that one cannot trade with. “Livelihood has options but life doesn’t. People should take up the responsibility of others who cannot take care of themselves and cater to their basic needs,” said Prof. Yunus. He asked for the need to create universal basic income. “We have the capacity to feed every single individual in the country by using Adhaar. We just need to take up a few Adhaar numbers and support them,” said Prof. Yunus.
He also urged people to not go back to the world that was there before the coronavirus crisis that stood at the finishing point of disaster. “Everyone has to take the decision of not going back to that position where global warming was ready to finish us. It was a ticking time bomb,” shared Prof. Yunus giving examples of the infamous Amazon and Australian forest fires. He asked for the creation of a system where the wealth is well-distributed.
He also talked about the threat of AI coming in a big way and replacing and pushing humans before coronavirus hit us. He stated that the pandemic has given an opportunity to create a world of zero wealth concentration and zero unemployment. “Make fiction that is the mother of all reality. This is a good time for reflection and to imagine a new world for us that we can create when this pandemic ends. This is our chance and we don’t want to miss that,” advised Prof Yunus to the young generation.
Taking questions from the audience, Prof Yunus averred that an individual with his great idea and use of technology can bring the opportunities to themselves. He urged people to redesign the entire financial system and fix the concepts and not make people run people to the cities for everything, shared Prof. Yunus asking everyone to go back to the basics.
He further averred that old walls of economy have crumbled and it’s a time to create your own pillars now. “It’s a slow opportunity, but if you play it right and people get into action, everything can happen. You have to create a process of rejuvenation of energy like we did before in history,” stated Prof. Yunus. He called for the world having a responsible leadership.
Responding to a query on a unified Asia, Prof Yunus shared how boundaries between people and countries don’t make sense. “The idea of a unified Asian union can be a fiction now but reality will follow this fiction,” averred Prof Yunus.
Prof. P.B Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Amity University Haryana shared that Indians stood for world peace, well-being of the humanity and caring for the lowest rung of the society. He shared how this was the best time for creating social entrepreneurship and develop the human side of technology.
Dr. Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President, Amity Education Group shared how he was following Prof. Yunus and his works since 2006 and how his message was a very timely one and asked all the students and faculty members to follow his words and ideas. “Indian sub-continent will lead the world and show the path to make it a better place to live,” shared Dr. Chauhan.
Dr. Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, AUH shared that Prof. Yunus is a true humanitarian and Amity will always be with him to take his thoughts and vision forward. He also shared how the university had adopted 5 villages under the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan in Rajasthan and was doing various social development programmes in the state. He further averred that if everyone followed works and thoughts of Prof Yunus, the world will be a better place to live. The webinar was well-attended by students and faculty members across the globe.