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Ex-Govt of India secretary: Slums, informal settlements ignored during lockdown

Snapshot of May 27 webinar
By Our Representative
Dr M Ramachandran, former secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, has complained that slums and informal settlements have been “ignored during the Covid-19 pandemic”, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet schemes like Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Smart Cities, Swachh Bharat, Ayushman Bharat and PM Awas Yojana “have not been translated into practice.”
Participating in a webinar organized by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi, to discuss the IMPRI survey of 3,121 households across 50 plus cities, Prof Govind Kelkal said, there are “increased incidences of domestic abuse and unpaid care work” during the lockdown. Prof Kelkal regretted, “Many workers have literally become beggars in cities and the complete spectrum of dignity of humankind seems to have been compromised.”
Held on May 30, this was the second webinar on the survey. The first one was held on May 27.
Sameer Unhale, commissioner of Ulhasnagar in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, stressed on the need to focus on real issues of critical care such as ventilators, improving recovery rate and avoid sensational news.
Dr Manorama Bakshi, senior adviser, Tata Trusts, called for the need to increase digital access, pointing towards how children studying in government schools could be adversely impacted as a result of the lockdown, with school dropouts likely to go up because of the absence of remedial classes.
Dr Indu Prakash Singh, social activist, said CityMakers have been ‘ditched’ during the lockdown.
Prof Utpal De of the North Eastern Hill University believed, the backward and hilly regions are suffering during the lockdown due to demand and supply constraints and market inefficiencies.

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