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India has now crossed 4 million confirmed Covid cases and hurtling with record daily spike rates to catchup with the United States. Pandemic’s disruptive impact is visible. While the pandemic has slowed down every other country in the world, the scale of economic contraction in India was bigger among the major economies. Contraction of GDP growth rate by 23.9 % in the 1st quarter of current fiscal is a pointer. While all key sectors witnessed contractions, the agriculture sector, which remains a major source of livelihood in Rural India, recording an impressive growth of 3.4 per cent is the silver lining.
The pandemic, however, spurred the opportunities for localisation of industries and employment with the digitisation of businesses and remote working as the ‘new norm’. It changed the definition of rural management and presented an opportunity to recalibrate rural-urban dynamics and accelerate the scaling of innovations to revive and reboot rural economies. Challenges may be many, shapes of recovery paths may vary, results may be delayed, but the resilience of our rural economy will outlast the pandemic.
Having worked in over 10000 villages across the country, we are aware of the importance of the frontline health and sanitation workforce contribution in improving the access of the basic facilities to the rural communities. Their tireless efforts are more visible in containing the current COVID 19 pandemic. We salute all those on the front lines, taking on the pandemic – unarmed, helping us stay safe. As a token of our gratitude to protect those warriors who are protecting us in whatever humble manner we can, we have mobilized our resources to provide personal protective safety kits to these workforces in few villages of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
We welcome all those who desire to extend support to the frontline workforce in rural areas and will be happy to collaborate with our donors. Each kit that cost Rs.1,400 (20 US$) comprises reusable masks and gloves, head covers, sanitizers and soaps to cover 3-month requirement for an individual. Your financial contributions in this regard to REEDS are tax deductible. You may donate online through this link or reach us .
Passing away of Shri Pranab Mukherjee, former President of India is saddening. He has been an inspiration to us at REEDS like to billion others in many ways. Thanks to late Shri G Venkataswamy, his great friend, colleague in party and governments; I had a good fortune to meet this legend personally multiple times; last being to extend invite to our SKILLS2013 conference in December 2012 that remain a great reminiscence of such a remarkable individual. His saying “Trickle-down theories do not address the legitimate aspirations of the poor. We must lift those at the bottom so that poverty is erased from the dictionary of modern India.” always keeps us spur on to work harder to achieve our goals. Stay Safe.
Dr. Ravi K Reddy
Secretary, REEDS,

Hyderabad, September 6, 2020
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