ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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COVID-19 and the Women at Work

Delhi has witnessed a massive disruption of livelihood and economic activities due to COVID-19. With a historical context of an abandoned mine housing refugee families at the contours of the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhatarpur, Sanjay Colony is a slum that is far removed from the everyday hustle of the city. This paper explores the ways in which initiatives by women during the COVID-19 pandemic changed the neighbourhood character and opened up the possibilities of reimagining place-making with the objective of establishing sustainable economic engagement. It focuses on the shift that has taken place from daily wage employment at nearby construction sites to self-employment by women. With initiatives like mobilising for relief work by the Bhatti Mahila Evam Bal Vikas Mandal to spearheading the renovation of the crematorium grounds, engaging in road construction, and even working towards organising a market led by women producers and sellers, the slum created opportunities to rethink street livelihood amidst the pandemic. This paper brings forth an ethnographic account of how women propelled the reimagination of the neighbourhood through their nano-enterpreneurship.

 

How Places Matter

The paper looks at the phenomenon of forced resignations in the garment industry in Karnataka during the pandemic. It demonstrates how workers’ responses to forced resignations were determined by whether they were located in the city (Bengaluru) or a small town (Srirangapatna) and calls for an engagement with the local geographies to understand the experiences of women garment workers.

 

COVID-19 and the State of Exception

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed that the shared taxis in Shillong are governed in an exception to the Motor Vehicles Act, thus rendering the lives of transport operators and users precarious. This precarity stands upon an underlining political consensus that gives power and authority to the executive to order the city even if in violation of the law that is supposed to govern it.

 

Intensifying Urbanities in Karachi

Millennial Karachi is an “intense city” with compounding precarities of varying scales. The COVID-19 pandemic has added yet another layer of uncertainty. Through an engagement with the concept of the intense city, the pandemic’s regulation and hopeful prospects in the state’s new welfare policies are considered. 

 

Pandemic Precarity

This paper focuses on the social experiences of migrant informal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It argues how institutions in the realms of the state, market, and civil society interacted and created conditions of precarity unique to the pandemic. How dominant frameworks that explain the praxis of entitlements fail to capture such infringement arising from the overlaps and intersections between the state, market, and civil society are highlighted in this paper. 

 

Recovery as Resilience

Drawing upon the two surveys of domestic workers in Jaipur in May and November 2020, this paper traces the contours of “recovery” from the pandemic beyond just returning to work. Instead, it argues that the estimations of recovery must have a deeper consideration of savings and debt, looks at the changes in employment dynamics, and marks the shifting bargaining capacities of workers. 

Pandemic and the City

The seven papers in this collection were developed from abstracts selected from the submissions in response to a call issued in July 2021. At the time of the call, the second wave of the pandemic was receding.

Discourses around Stigma and Denial in the COVID-19 Pandemic

A widespread but underexplored aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has been the prevalence of stigma and denial at different levels in the community mediated by state policy and actions. Based on a field study in three districts of Tamil Nadu between the two waves of the pandemic, this article explores the nature of stigma and denial and their consequence for health-seeking behaviour and access to healthcare. This is important not just to prevent further suffering of the affected people but also for formulation of more effective and equitable public health interventions in management of the pandemic.

COVID-19 and Fiscal–Monetary Policy Coordination

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic stimulus packages announced by the national government are analysed and an attempt is made to identify the plausible fiscal and monetary policy coordination. When credit-linked economic stimulus packages are partial in its impact on growth recovery, an accommodative fiscal policy stance in the forthcoming Union Budget 2022–23 is crucial for the economy.

 

The Women in CBOs

In the fight against COVID-19—the global health emergency—the community-based organisations were an effective tool for planning and implementation of relief measures. This article is an examination of the various ways in which the community-based organisations extended their support in the fight against the pandemic.

 

Mainstreaming Urban Resilience in India

In the recent decades, India is witnessing an explosive growth rate in urbanisation and its associated vulnerability to disasters. Disaster management in India has district as the basic unit, while city as a complex system requires different strategies. The city civic authorities need to explore mechanisms to increase their resource allocations for disaster management as well as to bring in the enhanced skills of both institutions and community.

 

Skeletal Health Services Cannot Resist Pandemics

The huge interstate disparities and glacial pace of improvement further add to the problems.

 

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