17 September 2020: What does the drastic contraction of the economy mean for India’s labouring poor?

The sixth edition of the Pandemic and Equity Webinar Series, conducted by the Centre for Equity Studies in collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung on health, labour and economy, discusses India’s GDP, which contracted by 23.9% in Q1 of 2020-21, without including the informal sector. What does this drastic contraction of the economy mean for India’s labouring poor? More so, when the Finance Minister terms this as an ‘act of God’, and the government engages in a political witch-hunt of those critical of the current regime.

Conversations with the Margins: Domestic Workers during the Lockdown

This is the sixth edition of the Pandemic and Equity Webinar Series conducted by the Centre for Equity Studies in collaboration with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung on health, labour, and economy. The countrywide lockdown, imposed on March 24, had an adverse effect on domestic workers. With no social security, domestic workers have found themselves in a situation of financial distress. Author and social activists converse with the female domestic workers in order to understand their lockdown woes.

10 August 2020: The Pandemic, Lockdown and Democratic Freedoms

While the pandemic rages, the efforts are in full swing to divert our attention in every possible direction apart from the health and hunger crisis that looms large. The economy that is on a ventilator is overshadowed by war mongering, divisive politics and hate mongering. Alongside, a phenomenon that cuts across most authoritarian regimes is the attempt to turn the pandemic into an “opportunity” to further curtail rights and freedoms. Speakers of the webinar include Kiruba Munusamy, Nandini Sundar, Kalpana Kannabiran, Zoya Hasan, Gautam Bhatia and Satish Deshpande.

19 June 2020: Labouring Lives – Hunger, Precarity and Despair amid the Lockdown

Webinar on the launch of the survey report ‘Labouring Lives: Hunger, Precarity and Despair amid the Lockdown’ by Centre for Equity Studies, in collaboration with Delhi Research Group and Karwan e Mohabbat, supported by Rosa Luxemberg-Stiftung.
The report, based on 1405 extensive telephonic interviews, gives insights into the suffering inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India on its labouring poor. From losing jobs, mounting debt, travelling back to their homes hundreds of kilometres away on foot to tackling hunger everyday, India’s workers have been crushed under the weight of an ill-planned Lockdown. We take a closer look at the experiences of workers during this time.

25 May 2020: Rebuilding India’s Broken Economy – with Social
Rights and Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that those development models driven by principles of equity, social rights and public ownership are significantly better equipped to deal with a public health crises of this magnitude. It has become pertinent and timely to think of principles, which are different from the established neoliberal norms when we envisage the rebuilding of the Indian economy battered by COVID-19. Social rights and Equity are two components of this.
The CES Webinar on 25 May 2020 with speakers Jayati Ghosh, Prabhat Patnaik, Aruna Roy, Vijayanand, and Patrick Heller dealt with these issues and more.

18 May 2020: Labour Rights in India – Before, During and After the Pandemic

The COVID lockdown has exposed the precarity of Indian labour, and the toothlessness of legal tools which are supposed to aid them. The worst affected have been workers in the informal economy, who have been literally at the mercy of the government and NGO’s to obtain adequate ration, forget anything else.  Such a condition would not have emanated if the precarity of their conditions had been adequately addressed in pre-COVID times. Instead of rectifying these structural problems, the government has been pushing for similar steps in the formal sector which is evident from the numerable ordinances passed by several state governments to deregulate and weaken labour laws. COVID has become an excuse to launch a war on labour. In this context, CES invites all of you to a webinar titled ‘Labour rights in India-Before, during and after the pandemic’.

11 May 2020: The Pandemic, Public Health and Equity

The COVID pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of the health systems across the world. From the viewpoint of equity, a necessary condition which should be present to handle a crisis of this nature is a vibrant public health system, which is accessible to all. But has that been the case? In most nations, essential facilities like ventilators are predominantly with the private sector, which reduces the ability of the most vulnerable to access it. It is, therefore, pertinent to reimagine public health from the viewpoint of equity. In this webinar, we hope to discuss questions around this topic.