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INDIA : Corona Pandemic and the Future Challenges for all by Sunny Jacob SJ (CNUA) Corona Pandemic is continuing its onslaught all over the world. There is a substantial increase on the virus spread in India too. Coming days and months are crucial for us. Since it is a global phenomenon, it has global ramifications. Experts say that we cannot get away from this virus for a few years. We have to learn to live with it, taking utmost precautions like physical distancing and proper sanitation, use of Mask etc. Self-discipline and care for the well-being of the other is the way we must follow in the future. Covid-19 is not only a virus that affects the health of the people, it also affects the society and nations at various levels. Economy is in its worst ever recession. Socially people are under anxiety, depression and fear. Religious practices are changing too. We all must understand and follow the following 11 areas if we have to overcome the crisis ahead of us.
1. Unemployment due to Job loss of millions. - Since it is a global catastrophe, the worst affected people in India going to be the non-residential Indians. Many of them will be send out from the countries they were working. This is going to create a very big crisis of unemployment in India. Within the country 100 Million and more Indian jobs at risk due to COVID-19 lock down. For many the uncertainty of livelihood is going to increase. The so called migrant workers who are actually the nation builders lost their livelihood and are forced to return to their native villages. This will affect many sectors. Now onwards depending on job givers will not guarantee security. So it is better all to work for Self-employment. Self employment and farming will assure us something better than seeking jobs outside. This is the only way out for many. “Being a self-employed means you work 12 hours a day for yourself so you don't have to work 8 hours a day for someone else.”
2. Develop our skills - The success and survival of an individual is going to be on the basis of his unique contribution in any particular work he is going to do. Remember, a winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals. (Larry Bird)
3. Religion must be more spiritual, divine and for the well being of all. We cannot have only customs and practices, dogmas and rituals. We need a compassionate, caring, considering all as God's children. The entire world view must change. Love and forgiveness, service and mercy must be the centrality of religions. Let the Spirit lead all.
4. Importance of Money. Do not waste a penny. Coming days are going to be harsh and hard for us. Economy is in doldrums. So proper planning for the need of a family must be well planned and executed with minimum spending. Lavishness and luxurious spending cannot be of a sign of wisdom. Never ever run after our want. If you buy what you don’t need, you steal from yourself. (Swedish proverb). Spending money on today’s wants means you might not be able to afford tomorrow’s needs. Even if you feel financially secure right now, that might not last forever, so you should still be cautious with your money. This is the lesson Covid-19 is teaching all.
5. Make our options wiser than craving for more earning. Earning more and amazing more wealth is not going to save you from a pandemic. Corona has proved it. So we must help our children to chose professions that are more useful to humanity. Of course, we know it now that what we need more are Health Workers (Doctors, Nurses etc..). Societal craving for more earning jobs like engineering and MBA must change to service sectors like doctors, nurses, police etc. Students must be given these options clearly. As a doctor and a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel. (Maya Angelou, author, poet and civil rights activist).
6. Be Compassionate. The pandemic is teaching us to be compassionate human beings. "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion". (Dalai Lama).
7. Be a Person who help others. Selfishness and self- centredness has no place in post Corona world. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
8. Move away from hatred and violence against each other to love and compassion. “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches)
9. Work as one family - Practice Vasudaiva Kudumbakam, Oneness of all. We are one. The entire humanity is one. We must go beyond our narrow attitude to a larger world view.
10. Educate our kids to be self-disciplined and committed to the well being of all. This will ensure a better world where people live in harmony and peace. Post corona world cannot afford killings and wars. This will help them to move away from ritualistic practice of religions to a more humane and divine spirituality.
11. Teach all to face calamities with a positive mind. Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create. I think all these 11 areas are so important for us to practice now on. Otherwise we will perish in the weight of Corona pandemic and its multiple effects on all realms of life. Post CORONA world cannot be the same. Nor India can be the same after this pandemic.
Sunny Jacob SJ, Secretary, JEASA, New Delhi 110 003, email : firstname.lastname@example.org