The COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown life out of gear worldwide. Challenging as the situation is, made grave by thousands who have succumbed to the disease, it is a time for deep humanism and an opportunity to collectively and intelligently work to build a new world. A new beginning where humanity rises to secure present and future generations by building a world that steps away from extraction, destruction, domination and devastation. We simply cannot continue with a business as usual approach.
Environment Support Group has systematically worked over two decades to construct and articulate imaginaries of a world where inclusivity, humaneness, ecocentrism and compassion will be our guiding lights. This has meant we do oppose, as and when essential, destructive projects, and policies that harm human ecology and the environment. The lessons we draw from this, we employ in building ideas of living on this planet causing the least harm to our habitat. We have argued that the dominant pattern of development, which benefits the top 1%, based on the labour and exploitation of most of the rest of human population, and of nature, is not merely an unintelligent and horrific way forward, it is bound to fail.
In dealing with COVID-19, various governments have been forced to take harsh measures to contain the pandemic’s worst impacts. Most measures, with rare exceptions, have been top down, relying very heavily on structures of power and control that have brought humanity to suffer from such horrific situations. Can real solutions emerge from the very methods that caused the problems?
As part of an initiative of the Coalition for Environmental Justice in India, Environment Support Group worked with a range of environmental and economic and social justice organisations and movements to develop a strategy to rescue India from COVID-19. The proposal we have made to the Government of India stresses that a successful and comprehensive response to the pandemic demands
* transparency, accountability and federated democratic governance;
* humane and decentralised approach;
* sensitive handling of travel restrictions;
* protecting universal human rights; accountability of private sector and involvement of civil society;
* long term environmental and public health strategies and * the safeguarding of rights of workers and vulnerable communities.
These are the very principles that help build a world that is at peace with this living planet and with humanity. You will find this statement at: https://tinyurl.com/t7ed68h. We invite you to endorse this statement here: http://chng.it/GPVVPNrSyz.
In a similar way, we have worked with various trade unions, civil society organisations, leading public intellectuals and community health specialists, in proposing to the Government of Karnataka a Ground Up, Coordinated Approach in dealing with COVID-19 Pandemic. You will find this representation and strategy here: https://tinyurl.com/t2zcubo. We invite you to endorse the representation and strategy here: http://chng.it/fc64MHHZZk.
We thank you for your solidarity, cooperation and support.
Stay safe. Stay compassionate. Stay healthy.