Coping With COVID-19 in India: A General Manager’s Perspective
April 14, 2020
In India, where LiveArea has a growing presence, the first case of COVID-19 was identified on 30th Jan 2020. By mid-March, the number of cases was increasing rapidly, and it was evident that COVID-19 was not going away anytime soon. The lockdown in India started gradually, around mid-March, and by end of March, all non-essential businesses were closed to slow down the spread of the virus.
India has 191 million daily wage workers in construction, manufacturing and service industries. Overnight, these workers were without a source of income. Workers in the construction industry typically live in tent cities in and around the construction sites. The majority of daily wage workers in urban centers come from rural areas. When the lockdown started many of these workers started heading back to their villages. The plight of daily wage workers has been in the news for the past several days. The images such as the ones below remain vividly implanted in our memories.
In the U.S. LiveArea and PFS are participating in a collaborative initiative, “Keep Small Strong,” to help smaller companies during this crisis. In India, employees are helping daily wage workers through a campaign to raise funds and provide daily provisions to some of these workers who have no source of income during the lockdown.
The goal is to raise INR 1 Million (USD 15,000), which translates to less than a one day’s salary for the India team. Considering the gravity of the situation, this may not be enough — however, it is a good start. There is no minimum or maximum limit to the donation, and one should donate the maximum amount they feel appropriate considering the situation that is unfolding before our eyes.
The team has identified four organizations doing great work to help the people in dire straits:
- Akshaya Partra Foundation
- Bharat Sevashram Sangha
- RSS Sanchaitha Santhrasta PariharaNidhi
- Rays of Hope
More organizations are being added to the list to ensure expanded geographical reach for the initiative. The collection drive has started along with distribution of the funds through eligible field agencies. I am proud to say that over the past few days, approximately $3,000 has been raised by employees in India and the USA, and close to 700 families have benefited with meals provided to them. If you are interested in assisting, contributions can be made online via PayPal through our colleague in India, Murali Polimara. Visit https://www.paypal.me/polimara to donate.
Ashim Roy is Vice President and Managing Director of LiveArea, a PFSweb business unit