Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Unfortunately, these past few months added a layer of gloom upon us as we collectively saw India’s COVID second wave take over. While this was a crisis experienced like never before, it was also the time for support and the coming of citizens together. Amidst the chaos, we have seen a mutual sense of empathy, extreme determination with fundraising, and everyone trying their best in contributing to help in any way they can. Whether families, students, businesses, or entrepreneurs, everyone has ensured to do their part.
We have seen so many brands work hard to contribute what they can in their own capacities. Although a very upsetting situation, the harmony between people was a sight not to miss. People sometimes underestimate or forget the power of brands- whether big or small; they certainly help amplify voices. Followers of brands become a part of a larger conversation, which is needed to make people more proactive and understand the situation. At Arra, we too have focused on making our own contribution to our community during this time.
How Arra is helping:
The work of Arra involves many artisans who work very hard in creating our handmade jewels, and so during these challenging times, we have ensured their safety and wellbeing as a priority. We have made sure our artisans and workers have consistently been employed with continuous salary during lockdown when not working. We have also committed our time to educating locals to get vaccinated and the importance of doing so. Especially to the underprivileged, spreading the word about the purpose of vaccines has been vital.
Naturally, we reduced our marketing drive in such situations. Instead, we have been focusing our time on helping the cause and really looking out for those who can’t afford health care and health-related necessities. We are happy to say that Aradhana has been contributing donations to those who have needed help, including giving weekly food packages for kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
India is unique in its means of income: everyone is an entrepreneur. This could mean owning a street food stall, a housewife running a home bakery or a big tech-tycoon startup-owner. However, the reality is that most of the informal sector, being entrepreneurs, need utmost protection. Not only are they exposed to COVID daily as a means of gaining income, but the pandemic, in general, has drastically decreased their businesses- and thus, saving this sector needs to be strategized. How so? Employment. Unemployment rates have fallen through, which only creates a vicious cycle of not being able to afford everyday living essentials. To do this, though, we need to focus on the root solution- kickstarting community and health centers at grassroots levels. This would provide a supportive foundation for them to have a brighter chance of working and finding jobs, which would reboot the economy. This pandemic has shed light on everyday differences between the rich and poor, such as having the privilege of keeping medical supplies at home, having access to health care facilities, and even simply having a voice to be heard.
This foundation should be built on a large-scale basis, where organizations, startups, companies- big or small- can do their share. Having health and hygiene programs will cause a positive ripple effect in educating and advocating for the priority of peoples’ health, which would collectively help communities at large. This isn’t just limited to physical health, but mental as well. The pandemic has subconsciously and consciously affected many peoples’ mental health, especially due to the loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, and isolation from one another. It’s not always easy addressing such topics, but at the same time, it’s important to voice them out for change to happen.
What can you do? Reach out to loved ones. Be kind. Keep an eye out for ways to help and make a change. Whether big or small.
Arra wishes you good health always, we hope everyone is keeping as safe as can be!