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Remodelling India post COVID-19

There has been a recognition and identification that the value systems that drive and underpin the development efforts by all of the stakeholders moves towards viewing the world holistically beyond our human world, acknowledging interconnectedness, embracing plurality, a resilient and sustainable world. Some Ashoka Fellows have come together to begin the discussions around improving livelihoods as a first step in a post-COVID India.

While the aim is to improve livelihoods, the interconnectedness of education, ecology, climate, child rights, human behaviour and practices, healthcare, habitat and shelter, food, water and nutrition, agriculture and cattle rearing, infrastructure development, energy, science, design and technology, industry and trade, economy and financing, gender and inclusion, citizenship, rights and responsibilities and local governance has been kept in mind. The emerging responses to the socio-economic crisis has highlighted the need for collaboration, co-creation and consortia. The collaborative framework generally relies on inclusion of decision makers, policy makers, financial institutions, educational institutions, media and the press, public institutions, civil society organizations and cultural institutions. However, in this post-COVID rebuilding effort, this approach relies on being driven by people and the community groups.

The aim is to draw on the work carried out within the Fellows network in order create a participatory framework. As an example, in the process of democratizing education to make it equal, free and collective, we tend to think policy makers, parents and teachers in the design of the curriculum and the underlying pedagogy. However, educating children must be a collective, community effort and not a top down heavily centralized program created by policy makers with little representation of the rural and urban poorer communities and castes.