Home Editorials Learning Opportunity

Learning Opportunity


Even as the ongoing lockdown has impacted people in many ways – some being forced to ‘enjoy’ leisure they did not have, earlier, owing to job pressures, and others who are having to struggle for their daily bread – the challenge also offers numerous opportunities for all sections of society. It will be a learning process for all, as they get to reevaluate the way they live their lives. The daily wagers, for instance, who could not survive in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the cities for even a few days, must feel motivated to shape a more sustainable life closer to their homes, instead of chasing the moolah at the end of an elusive rainbow. There has been a strong movement for several decades, now, that has promoted just such a lifestyle, based on environment friendly values and innovative practices, particularly in agriculture. Over the years, there have been many government schemes, also, to aid this effort, but they have lost their way in the red-tape of bureaucracy. The many NGOs involved in this sector must use this opportunity to take the cause further in more practical ways – they will find the beneficiaries more open to their ideas.

The few days of crisis have also revealed the innovative potential in Indian Industry, as reports have been regularly coming in of automobile companies making affordable ventilators, pharmaceutical companies developing test kits for the corona virus, etc. It is hoped that Indian Industry rediscovers itself in many ways, not just to combat the ongoing crisis, but to reassess its market and streamline the business model. It is good that funds are being provided to the various governments for the battle against COVID-19, but similar allocations ought to be made on regular basis to establish a healthy environment for research. India, as everybody knows, spends too little in this area, as compared to even a nation like China.

Hopefully, when the crisis gets over, India will have enough ventilators for its hospitals and an established protocol for similar medical emergencies in the future. The experience of managing the complex requirements of not just enforcing the lockdown but also engaging with the unexpected consequences will lead to a smarter system and officialdom. It is bound to develop a greater appreciation of disciplined behaviour and social responsibility among the people, as also of the services provided by all those who are today being described as ‘frontliners’. Today, they are being applauded and having flower petals showered on them – their importance should not be forgotten when things return to normal.