Upon looking closer, the lockdown has caused a domino effect with aviation, hospitality, cleaning and various other services being hit – thereby affecting all dependent services. In the plethora of crises which have hit our country, be it floods, famines, terrorist attacks, earthquakes or the likes, never before have we witnessed such restriction of movement and mobility – for ourselves or the supply chains! The uniqueness of this situation – uncertainty at every level, has led to a deeper impact. The migrant labourers walking home due to uncertainty is just one such impact. This is something that caught the eye and hearts of everyone watching.
This situation has thrown a curveball – everyone has felt the pinch, therefore everyone will pull back and spend less where possible. For example, if you planned on getting a new saree embroidered you might no longer do it at this point or if you planned on buying a bathtub or jacuzzi and get the plumbing done for it, you might hold off on that. Pause for a minute and think of the implications of this on the person at the very end of the line – the individual, who was perhaps going to do the karigari (labour) on the saree – and the family of that individual, who is dependent on that individual. At this stage, the real impact of the lockdown is only partially visible.
Due to these economic disruptions at different levels, each of these chains has to be rebuilt carefully in order to restore the economy back to its health. We can give rations and cooked food to these poor people but no one likes to be unproductive and not useful. Nobody likes receiving welfare amounts without a chance to live in dignity. Thus, a group of millennials have come together and started a unique pledge to aid the fight to get our lowest denomination, back to productive work. This pledge is called the Karuna During Corona.
The Karuna During Corona
The pledge is one that can be undertaken, either by pledging one month’s salary or 1% of one’s personal wealth in order to support Covid-19 relief work. Karuna During Corona is not an NGO and doesn’t give any tax receipts. What one can do by taking the pledge is that one can donate to any non-profit or state/central govt disaster management fund within the next 6 months to successfully execute the pledge. Why is 1% of the wealth or one month’s salary, by design? This is because the amount pledged is not a big enough number to cause any serious economic dent to the giver but at the same time, it does pinch the giver, enough to reassess what it is, that one is ready to live without or sacrifice this year. After all, as Mother Teresa has said, “This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.”
The idea of the pledge came about when a couple of people successfully managed to raise Rs. 30 lakhs, for specific Covid-19 relief causes and realised that no amount would be enough to deal with the onslaught of the lockdown. They decided to come together and launch this platform, where people could see others just like them, willing to stretch a bit and go out of their way to pledge a significant slice of their pie.
Says Vineet Saraiwala, another pledger, “Sometimes, I wonder that had I been 40, I would have been in the best position & circumstances to start my service journey. I reflect myself that I could still shut down myself from the suffering around the world because I have a comfortable home, food to eat & money in my bank account. I can start giving back when I have earned enough after the accumulation of wealth in my old age. That is also a choice but this disaster has made me determined to do my bit at this very moment. I wish to bury all contradictions & rationales till the time this crisis is here & drench myself into a journey of service.”
You can take your pledge here