Baba Adhav: Ensure food, employment for low income groups

Lockdown always has an adverse impact on people working in unorganised sectors, says Baba Adhav
Social worker Baba Adhav(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
Social worker Baba Adhav(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)
Updated on Jul 14, 2020 05:02 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Pune | By Abhay Khairnar

Social worker Baba Adhav has been working for unorganised sectors for the past many decades. Speaking to Abhay Khairnar, the medical graduate said that the Covid-19 crisis will remain for a long period and the authorities should ensure that employment and basic needs of lower income groups are met before announcing lockdown

Is lockdown necessary in Pune?

It is true that Covid-19 is a global pandemic, but lockdown should be announced only after planning. Authorities should ensure access to food and employment for people from low income group before lockdown is implemented.

Was the decision made by guardian minister Ajit Pawar and Pune district administration is in consultation with experts?

It is a one-sided decision made without consulting people who represent the society. Ideally, the government should form a citizen action committee and consult it before taking these decisions. The citizen committee should have representation from all sections of society. I have been told that the lockdown decision was made without even taking elected members into confidence. Formation of a citizen action committee is a must.

Senior leader Sharad Pawar is in favour of resuming business activity. Do you think the lockdown decision made by guardian minister is against the sentiment of people?

While we are seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases in the city, lockdown always has an adverse impact on people working in unorganised sectors. I had appealed to Sharad Pawar to include autorickshaw drivers, domestic helpers and vegetable vendors in the essential services category like nurses and doctors. The government should support these people as they are working for the common people.

Suggestion to handle Covid-19 crisis as per your medical qualification and work in social service sector.

During the Second World War, the government made the rationing programme that guaranteed food for all. Likewise, authorities should ensure that citizens get food and employment. As the Covid-19 situation would remain for a long period, instead of taking interim steps, the government must consult experts and frame long-term policy for handling the crisis. At the city and local level, citizen action committees should be formed and their opinions must be considered while taking any major decisions.

Your observations on the impact of lockdown on domestic helpers, auto drivers and unorganised sectors.

The people belonging to these sectors are finding it difficult to make ends meet due to lockdown. Many domestic helpers are either lost job or their salaries are cut as housing societies have banned their entry. Those running small businesses are also badly affected.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021