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.
As India is primarily an agrarian economy supporting 60% of the population, reviving agriculture and allied sectors would be critical in the coming days. While we continue supporting in immediate relief efforts, we must work towards creating small local growth clusters with more self-reliant systems of production, processing and marketing to create livelihoods and employment for 0.5 to 1 million households. At PRADAN, we are directing our energy to create around 10 such growth clusters which will positively impact a population of 5 million.