Every society has defining moments that mark changes in its history. India is going through one at present, and life after this pandemic won’t be the same. Joseph Xavier’s new book is essential reading for those working with various types of migrants.
The sudden and cruel lockdown brought the economy to a standstill almost, and pushed the daily-wage workers in the informal sector into a desperate struggle for survival. Thousands of migrants walking thousands of kilometres home, made visible the fate of migrant workers who were hitherto invisible. This shocked the conscience of the nation.
The book sets the context for the discussion with an extensive review of the recent literature listing some of the official schemes to uplift the poor and vulnerable. The underlying inadequacies of the same is confirmed by data collected from a survey sample of 700 interviews in 47 Districts of over 11 States, and 118 stakeholders. The analysis nuances and gives credibility to the findings in elaborate tables.
The big narrative is the need for the welfare State, which was dismantled by a neoliberal free market economy that is now in an acute crisis, even before it was raved by the pandemic. This disaster gives an opportunity to restructure our priorities and our society. With a depressed economy and a raging pandemic likely to be with us for an uncertain period, our present response will define our future. Will we upgrade our health system, turn to ecological sensitivity, prioritise sharing in society, and become truly egalitarian, fraternal, free and democratic? Or by fault and default become a polarised and prejudiced society in an authoritarian-majoritarian State?
- Courtesy: Rudolf C. Heredia, SJ
- Read the report: https://isibangalore.com/images/researchPdfs/Walking_with_the_Migrants_Beyond_Covid-19_Pandemic.pdf
- Title: Walking with the Migrants beyond Covid-19 Pandemic
- Author: Joseph Xavier, SJ
- Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bengaluru
- Pages: 84