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Pandemic, Unemployment, & Migrant Crisis: What Else Is In Store For India’s Economy?

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This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

The Coronavirus pandemic has plagued the economy of India. As a developing country, India fights numerous cases of unemployment daily. The announcement of the 21-day lockdown by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has been both a boon and bane.

It is bound to destroy the livelihoods of many who are daily wage earners. The virus which spread like wildfire has left 40 million citizens without a job. Semi-skilled labourers and those under the MGNREGA programme are facing the backlash since the shutdowns.

The Reserve Bank of India had introduced new measures to curb the overall impact on the economy. The short term goals achieved may not help in the progression of the economy in the long run. India will suffer from a set of downfalls owing to the weak GDP and lockdown measures. The quarterly GDP has collapsed from 8% to 7.1% for the first quarter, 7% to 6.2% in the second quarter and 6.6% to 5.6% in the third quarter.

The increase in COVID-19 cases has seen a descent mainly in the real estate, construction and manufacturing industries. The demand for domestic and international trade dropped drastically due to establishment of Atma Nirbhar or the Make in India Campaign.

This was introduced in hopes of supporting local businesses and making the country more economically robust. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have come to aid during such stressful times. The only solution remains to be the implementation and execution of new economic policies. 

The quarterly GDP has collapsed from 8% to 7.1% for the first quarter, 7% to 6.2% in the second quarter and 6.6% to 5.6% in the third quarter.

The Reserve Bank of India presented a list of financial measures which were immediately approved and put into effect.  Different banks and financial institutions had quickly begun reaching out to the clients for vital rebuilding exercises as time available was extremely short.

The goal plan reported by RBI is a noteworthy help to elements which have been influenced by extreme pressure brought about by COVID-19 pandemic and has resulted in monetary interruption. RBI has allowed a onetime rebuilding of advances, as the continuous Covid 19 pandemic is essentially affecting the business in all cases. 

The government had provided the masses with a package of 1.7 trillion, yet large sections of India are still searching for basic amenities. The stock market plays a vital role during a pandemic. India’s stock market saw a 4000 point drop of India’s SENSEX. The 13.15% drop is the biggest in history but overcame the fallout on March 25, 2020.

The simultaneous loss and gain affect the progress of India’s economy. India will face a negative bump in terms of business since China is one of the biggest import and export allies compared to other nations. There has been a 40% decline in electronic items from China which has collided with India’s exports of cotton and minerals. The agricultural sector, which contributes a minimum of 18% of the economy, is having a hard time overcoming the hurdles.

The restructuring program gives a window under the prudential system to empower banks to execute a goal plan in regard of qualified corporate introductions without a change in possession and individual advances while grouping such presentations as standard subject to indicated conditions. We need to keep in mind the salient points of this restructuring framework, wherein, they do not accept the introduction to money related part elements just as central government, state government and municipal bodies.

The accounts that are in default for not more than 30 days as on March 1, 2020, will be qualified for such rebuilding.  All others will be focused on records to follow the June 2019 structure for the goal plan. This one-time restructuring is intended to be summoned by 31st Dec 2020 and shall be actualised within 180 days. Lenders can extend the residual tenor of the loan by a period not exceeding two years when a loan is converted into other instruments, such debt to be included as a part of the post-resolution debt.

In case of multiple/consortium banking, disbursements and payments to be routed through an ESCROW account maintained with one of the lenders. Resolution plans in respect of reports where the aggregate exposure is Rs 100 crore and above, shall require an independent credit evaluation (ICE) by any of the credit rating agencies authorised by RBI. 

The 13.15% drop is the biggest in history but overcame the fallout on March 25, 2020.

A committee headed by K V Kamath would recommend to the RBI, the required financial parameters, along with the sector-specific benchmarks to be factored into each resolution plan.

The economic framework would need to raise capital for taking into account a post-Covid 19 economy by keeping up sufficient cradles and dry powder. RBI has been urging elements to raise funding to support their BS. This has been displayed by a few banks reporting capital raising plans.

Domestic stocks are probably going to once again face worldwide monetary recovery because of a spike in CoronaVirus infection cases.

New tensions from China-US pressures also need further steps to end the bulls following right after them. At the same time, it has been recorded that Indian organisations are set to raise a record $30-35 billion in share deals this year. 

With neighbourhood moneylenders and organisations taking advantage of worldwide liquidity through qualified institutional situations, rights issues, follow-on open offers and square arrangement, India will hopefully see an economic boost soon!

The Reserve Bank of India, when exposed to the current crisis, had introduced these measures that can be helpful for banks and other financial institutions. The only question remains, whether these measures, along with new loan restructuring, can prove to be an excellent long term solution.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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