Q. We are seeing some hard time in our lifetime due to COVID-19 and surely every income group is facing the adversity. But the weakest income group can be seeing bearing its brunt largely. As ASK from the last 25 years has been working with the bottom of the pyramid- how are you dealing with the situation ?
A: The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent lockdown in India is not just a public health crisis. It is also an economic crisis. It had direct impact on families and community which includes, nutrition intake, health and source of revenue to meet basic needs. The bottom of the pyramid is always the most vulnerable with larger impact . During this crisis the minimum ASK could do was to ensure reach out and continuous engagement. ASK was early to reach them to ensure and mitigate the impact. ASK India constantly engaged with the project team and the community through its local partners in raising awareness on the safety measures to be adopted to prevent infection and also encouraging community leaders to take lead in spreading awareness at village level. We provided relief packages in our two project areas in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
Our team started travelling to field in the month of July, hence established how important is the relationship between us and the community as these are testing times and we believe in solidarity. The community gets the sense of protection and confides their trust in us.
The importance of rural economy and strengthening the rural ecosystem cannot be debated anymore and now is the time to invest and strengthen the rural economy for greater participation of women, youth and men to address the growing social and economic challenges and restore their well being and livelihood.