Recalibrating Moral Paradigms: Lockdown Lessons for Inclusive DevelopmentVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Thursday, March 25, 6:30 PM IST
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March 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the nation-wide lockdown announced in India last year. While the lockdown amplified numerous lacunas in India’s delivery of public goods and distribution of basic amenities, the past one-year has also posed critical questions of societal ethics and collective consciousness in the society. While corporate India probes the viability of ‘sustainable business’ and public health systems try to revaluate equitable distribution of healthcare facilities, our society too needs to reassess how it views public morality and inclusive development. Like Adam Smith mentioned in his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, more than 250 years ago, “prudence” was “of all virtues that which is most helpful to the individual” however “humanity, justice, generosity, and public spirit, are the qualities most useful to others."
The early months of the pandemic brought to light the wide-spread distress among migrant workers making long journeys back home and highlighted the present gaps in the country’s social welfare ecosystem. The food distribution system had massive inadequacies and the public health system of the country was unable to address the heightened burden of COVID-19. One year on, renewed efforts are being undertaken, by policymakers and key stakeholders to ensure that present loopholes in public service delivery are addressed starting with the world’s largest vaccination drive aiming to address the health and safety needs of vulnerable communities and gradually safeguarding the entire country from the disease.
The past year has also witnessed a surge in the adoption of digital processes which plays a critical role in meeting the needs of access and distribution of vital infrastructure. India Inc., philanthropic foundations and civil society groups have been at the forefront in leading this mission of digital inclusion. These groups have been instrumental in providing necessary food aid in distressed areas, and also continue to support vaccination drives and spearhead employment programmes among the rural population. These dedicated relief and rehabilitation efforts undertaken by non-governmental organizations since the onset of the pandemic have made noteworthy contributions towards the path of economic and social recovery.
Going forward, what are some of the crucial learnings from the last year? What policy measures should the local governments implement to ensure vulnerable sections of society receive their social-security entitlements? How can collective efforts address present challenges in service delivery and equitable distribution of public good?
Join us for a panel discussion with Harsh Mander, Director, Centre for Equity Studies; Shishir Joshi, Co-Founder & CEO, Project Mumbai and Vidya Shah, Chairperson & CEO, EdelGive Foundation to understand the lessons learnt from the pandemic in charting out a better future and the need for a re-evaluation of social mores. The discussion will be moderated by Neera Nundy, Managing Partner, Dasra.
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Harsh Mander is a human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher and teacher. He works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children. He currently serves as the Director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Equity Studies. He regularly writes columns for Scroll, The Indian Express, The Hindu and The Wire.
Vidya Shah is the Chairperson and CEO of EdelGive Foundation. Under her leadership and the support of its parent Edelweiss Group, EdelGive Foundation has grown to become a platform for strategic philanthropy in India. Vidya is also a Non-Executive Director at Edelweiss Financial Services Limited and additionally serves as a Director on the board of several investment advisory firms.
Shishir Joshi is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Project Mumbai. In July 2020 the United Nations awarded Project Mumbai with the Social Development Goal (SDG) Solidarity Action Award 2020, in recognition of the humanitarian contribution to the fight against COVID-19. Shishir is a recipient of the iVolunteer Hero of the Year for 2018-19.
Neera Nundy is Partner and Co-Founder of DASRA India which started in 1999. Her overarching goal is to enable social entrepreneurs and funders with the support they need to achieve big goals in areas such as gender, urban resilience and sanitation through system change and collaborative philanthropy. Neera plays a crucial role in bringing capacity building, knowledge, funding and networks to the sector. She holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and is a fellow of the third class of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship of the Ananta Aspen Center and a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.