#Charcha2020: Role of NGOs During COVID-19 Pandemic

The conversation needs to begin now so that we are not too late to take action.

3 min read
From May 14 to 16, 2020, ‘#charcha2020’ will host nine plenary sessions and 16 parallel events to cover the broad range of topics in the development sector.

The/Nudge Foundation is hosting '#charcha2020' - a platform to bring together thinkers, researchers, practitioners, enablers, policymakers, communicators, philanthropists and community leaders to address the toughest challenges in a post-COVID world.

From 14 to 16 May, 2020, '#charcha2020' will host total nine plenary sessions and 16 parallel events to cover the broad range of topics in the development sector.

On Friday 15th May evening, two important sessions, one with Grammy Award Winning Composer and Environmentalist Ricky Kej and other with non-profit leaders took place.

At 8 pm, a performance by Ricky Kej was the closing plenary session of the day. His magnificent act was a respite from all the gloomy news around COVID-19 that has enveloped the whole world.

Ricky is Grammy Award Winner and US Billboard number 1 artist. He collaborated with artists from across the world to create a concert that could give us hope during these dark times. All the musicians performed within their own homes. Being an environmentalist, Ricky also reminded us through his music, that nature is a reflection of ourselves, and the health and well being of our ecosystems is directly related to our health as human beings. Watch his session here:

Non-Profit Organisations During COVID

Before Ricky's magical performance, at 7 pm, In ‘Kal aaj aur kal’ panel discussion, four stalwarts shared their perspective and experience of the impact of the pandemic on the strategy, operations, culture within non-profit organisations and beyond. Watch the session here:

While the session was moderated by Ujwal Thakar, CEO, Pratham Education, the speakers included Madhav Chavan, Co-Founder and CEO, Pratham; Safeena Hussain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate Girls; Shridhar Venkat, CEO, Akshaya Patra Foundation; Matthew Spacie, Founder, Magic Bus.

They deliberated on how the nonprofits have been able to leverage resources and network to minimise the risks and achieve the overall serving purpose and would thus lead in the direction of adapting to the new normal.

'Pre-COVID World Was Terrible, Need to Reimagine': Dr Muhammad Yunus

Earlier today, a chat on ‘Going Back to the Tabula Rasa’ was being held by Nobel Peace Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus who is the founder of Grameen on Friday, 15 May, along with Arun Seth, board member, NarayanaHealth, HelpAge, The/Nudge who is the moderator of the session.

On the issue of vaccines, Dr Yunus said, "If you have an environment where companies can decide who should live, who should die and who should be protected - that is not the way the world can go on. We have to be clear right from the beginning that vaccines should be an open-source product. It is a product for survival and cannot be owned by a company."

He also said,

"Why do people want to go back to the pre-corona world? That was a terrible world. This was the decade of the last-chance & global warming had threatened the future generation. There was also an extreme wealth concentration, resultant of the economy we had built."

"Life vs livelihood is a non-issue for me. Life isn't something that can be traded. The primacy of life has to be accepted. It is unique and has to be protected. Livelihood has many options - which life doesn't. It's put as if it's one or the other - either you have a life or a livelihood. But it's not like that. Life remains and you see what you can do with a livelihood. "

‘Evolving Role of Foundations in India's Development Journey’

Earlier, in the opening plenary session, speakers namely Deepali Khanna, managing director, Asia, Rockefeller Foundation; Vidya Shah, CEO, Edelgive Foundation; Pradeep Nair, regional director, Ford Foundation and Geeta Goel, country director, India, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation held a panel discussion on ‘Evolving Role of Foundations in India's Development Journey.’

The Quint’s Senior Executive Editor Rohit Khanna moderated the session.

Deepali Khanna, managing director, Asia, Rockefeller Foundation, mentioned how her foundation has being working in collaboration with different firms to get a sense of what is going on in different communities.

“We are trying to see how we can continue to ensure how electricity is reaching the 270 villages where we had offered solutions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Vidya Shah, CEO, Edelgive Foundation on the challenges being faced by her foundation, said, “One of the things that we have faced as soon as the crisis broke out was to use a humanitarian lens rather than just a health lens because we don’t have capability around health as a foundation.”

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