EXTRAORDINARY WORK OF ‘ORDINARY’ PEOPLE: A SERIES
The reports are available in multiple languages:
In the first volume of Extraordinary Work of ‘Ordinary’ Peoples (EWOP) series, we explore how each of the major problems faced during the COVID-19 pandemic has solutions—already demonstrated by communities, civil society organisations, or government agencies across India.
The second volume EWOP presents examples which may lead us to an understanding that community empowerment can restore ecosystems, create sustainable economies and community resilience to cope with the natural and human induced calamities such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this third volume of EWOP, we have compiled stories from the Western Himalayan region which reflect the perseverance, resilience, and tenacity within the communities in the face of multiple challenges including COVID-19. These stories show that community-based work, care and support can overcome all hurdles.
The fourth volume of EWOP presents stories of women’s collectives that have shown pathways for grassroots solidarity-based economic initiatives during COVID-19. The case studies point out that the ability to innovate and adapt in creative ways has been part of a broader process of women’s empowerment. These examples hold important lessons for reviving livelihoods in a post-pandemic India seeking new pathways to strengthen social and economic solidarities.
The pandemic made many young people realize how deep the fissures in society are, how fragile our planet is, and how scary our future could be. The fifth volume of EWOP presents stories of hope, resilience, and collective dreaming by young citizens which show that another world is truly possible.
North East India represents a unique cultural milieu of over 220 ethnic and indigenous communities inhabiting its varied and rich flora-fauna landscape. In this volume, we explore stories of resilience demonstrated by ordinary people in their communities to the severe impacts of the pandemic and the two lockdowns in 2020-21. The pandemic has forced us to reconsider the efficacy of our current welfare state and market mechanism given the magnitude at which it has affected the lives of millions of people in India, including the North East. The stories in this volume bring a nuanced perspective of ‘vikalp’ or alternatives where people found ways to cope and devised their unique norms of delivery mechanisms for food, health and income generation.
The second wave of the pandemic was more lethal, saw the health infrastructure in cities buckle under pressure. In a matter of a few weeks, the death toll piled and the contagion spread to rural areas. During both the waves, there were numerous people, who tried to bring some balance to the chaos. Civil society organisations played a critical role in providing much needed humanitarian assistance to communities under distress. This report highlights stories of some of many extraordinary initiatives, which not only provided humanitarian assistance, when it was needed but are also trying to build communities that are more resilient to future shocks.