Adversities In Diver‘City’. TheDark Side Of Diversity | SAIBA GUPTA
Author: Saiba Gupta
Affiliation: National Institute of Urban Affairs, India
Governments around the world encountered fiscal stress in the wake of the pandemic, with cities facing economic plight. As is the case with most disasters, it is the poor that largely paid the price. A large section of what makes up the Indian economy comprises of the informal sector that cannot ‘work from home’. So when the first lockdown was announced in India back in March 2020, tens of millions of people were pushed into poverty. The harrowing images of migrant workers walking hundreds of miles to get back to their villages could be seen from across the country. With urban areas being so starkly divided, the increasing risk of poverty has become an evident consequence of the pandemic. Dealing with the aftermath of COVID-19 will require addressing these deep-rooted social inequalities, particularly to build the resilience of marginalized groups. Although cities’ preparedness and responses to the crisis mainly rely on larger institutional and economic capacities, the local response is also crucial for future resilience and sustainable recovery, starting at the community level. There have been several instances of solidarity witnessed at local levels, with individuals and enterprises coming together in collective action. Hence, urban areas with all their diverse contributing factors, have a ‘decisive, potentially agile role in the battle for a just and green recovery’
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