The media is awash with the devastating news of deaths and sufferings due to COVID-19 coming out of India. What most media outlets overlook is the way Indian communities are rallying to save lives, reduce sufferings and stop the current wave of the pandemic.
2020 will be remembered as the year that changed the world, as COVID-19 spared no country, no community, and no person. As the pandemic continues in 2021, there is recognition that some groups are impacted more than others, not just by the virus itself, but also by the socio-economic and access inequities exacerbated by global shutdowns. Globally, countries, and organisations are seeking to build back better and address inequities.
Dealing with COVID-19-related city lockdowns has been exceptionally stressful, particularly for those parents who have had to balance work, personal life, children and elderly, providing home schooling or facilitating virtual learning, managing infection control within the home, and more, all while being disconnected from support services.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) at-least 15% of the population globally has some form or other of a disability- considered the world’s largest minority population and one that any of us can join at any point in our lives. It therefore makes so much sense for each one of us to invest towards inclusion, so everyone has the right to live their life to their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society. This article seeks to highlight the updates from the disability world in the past four months, particularly the last month, both globally and in India.
Over the next seven years, Google will invest a whopping $10 billion in India
to improve technology, health and education, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. This is unprecedented and could be a game changer that could improve health, education and economic empowerment.
The Coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown has intensified most inequities in society- specifically those that affect vulnerable communities, including persons with disabilities, particularly young girls. As an aftermath of recent media attention, many government organizations, nonprofits and philanthropies have come together to ensure girls and women in remote communities have access to menstrual care products.
Recently, Madhukar Pai, the Director of McGill University Global Health Program wrote about the inequity in global health research
. He observed that researches are skewed in favor of the global north. We agree that this inequity exists. However, we also have found that global fellowships such as the Atlantic Fellowship, of which we are both Senior Fellows, are platforms to reverse this inequity, foster international partnerships and amplify voices of development practitioners from the global south.