Giving Compass' Take:

• Avijit Choudhury, at AVPN, highlights a strategy for creating a safe, reliable system of production for the Indian rural economy to survive the pandemic.

• How are vulnerable communities again at a heightened risk of suffering from damage to the Indian rural economy? What are you doing to support the Indian rural economy and other systems affected by the coronavirus?

• Find resources to guide your coronavirus giving response.

As India enters into the 4th phase of lockdown, we are caught between the dilemma of savings lives or protecting livelihoods by keeping the economy open and running. The most marginalised, daily wage earners, unorganised labour class and those at the fringes of our society have been disproportionately affected. With the migrant labourers returning home with no cash or savings, village communities are stressed due to the loss of remittance income, and the added mouths to feed.

While we continue supporting in immediate relief efforts, we must work towards creating small local growth clusters with more self-reliant systems of production. At PRADAN, we are directing our energy to create around 10 such growth clusters which will positively impact a population of 5 million. Some key elements of our strategy are briefly captured below:

  1. Creating public awareness across all our 10,000+ project villages on safety and hygiene issues, including maintaining social distancing.
  2. Strengthening public systems to enrol families who do not have Ration cards, Jan Dhan accounts, MGNREGS Job cards and other such documentation into former government systems so that they can receive state benefits and the slew of relief measures that seek to reach the neediest and deserving.
  3. Facilitating provision of relief work through MGNREGS (100 days job guarantee scheme) by creating assets like plantations, water-harvesting structures, land treatment measures, etc. which can provide immediate wages as well as improve livelihoods in the medium and long-term.
  4. Enumerating all migrant labourers who have returned home and facilitate those willing to return to their place of employment by re-activating the agent networks.
  5. Facilitating backyard poultry and goat rearing with provisions for improvement on sheds, vaccines and other support to 100,000 families.
  6. Working with 250,000 farmers towards a new paradigm by shifting from intensive chemical-based agriculture to adopting sustainable eco-friendly agriculture practices.

Read the full article about the Indian rural economy by Avijit Choudhury at AVPN.