From the desk of the Secretary

Dear Colleagues, Comrades, Friends and Well-wishers,

It’s time now to reflect and act amid this unprecedented situation of crisis we are undergoing.

Caught by a complete shock of the lockdown due to the global pandemic of COVID–19, with its sweeping spread, mounting mortality and removing the guts of the economy, SPAN, a non for profit, established and opened more channels of communication with its youth, women and community volunteers and subsequently to different stakeholders.

First, on announcements of packages by Central and State Governments, it actually examined the ground reality and people could benefit, which is an ongoing work to measure the hunger and poverty.

Secondly SPAN organises information drive to check the informed people and its extent, and how they calibrate their struggle to defeat hunger out of jobless condition.

Thirdly, the impact of pandemic on the life and livelihood of informal and migrant labourers need to be accessed properly and supported accordingly.

Children being caged in homes expectedly not in good spirit, SPAN with the help of its youth members started Educational sessions under JEEVAN PATH Program in different urban and rural areas.

Hence the thought process generally permeates in our mind and logic is also to bring about a certain 360 degree change based on the issues those are being flagged.

The urgency is the rehabilitation, restoration towards pulling the human resource out of the situation of despair and put them back in normalcy to be able to start fresh, of course a new normal. But this has to happen with a phased intervention woven with empowering tools and methodologies.

Evidently the program emphasis of SPAN would be more in four districts of the state of West Bengal, such as South 24 Parganas, Purulia, Jalpaiguri and Kolkata.

It is by far clear to everyone’s mind that employment, education and ecology are the three major areas which are being subject to great changes due to covid-19 pandemic.

Ecology being the cause and effect need a long term treatment, while education and employment are the two areas will be in the receiving end. And so these two aspects require a short and medium term treatment.

Immediate after the lockdown is over we would visit the schools (govt aided) and study of labour profile. Track down to understand if there are any students who are not appearing in the classroom, visit them and take note of the situation responsible.

Similarly the labour profile will give us an understanding of men and women in the informal and migrant labour, what they are doing now and their experience etc.

In both these tracking we must keep the gender aspect of vulnerability in mind.

Hence in these two areas there has to be an investigative action followed by remedial action; while the ecological and environmental issues will be dealt with a perspective of long term understanding building and action thereof. (This includes the economic and political issues and will be connected to the development design, which actually is responsible for this pandemic etc. taking a clue from the Covid-19).

That’s it for the time being. We will now be focusing on the agility and courage with care and caution to make this plan a reality.

Thanking you all for your presence and continuous support.

Warm regards,

Prabir Basu

Secretary, SPAN