“Adversity always presents opportunities for introspection”
A.P.J Abdul Kalam
We all are fighting a war with the COVID-19 pandemic. It has put the whole globe in the world of uncertainty and adversity. The whole world is demonstrating and discussing the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt, that it engulfed a lot of innocent lives. This is absolutely the most dreadful and worst face of this pandemic. But, every coin has two faces – bright and dark. We have never brought in our minds, that this pandemic being a challenge for the world, brought with it opportunities galore. Also, this challenge has compelled us to think about those challenges which are already persisting in our society, from the pre-pandemic period.
The present undesirable situation has given us time to introspect as to where we have gone wrong and what have been the aberrations on our part. Not, only this but it had also left in front of us an open opportunity to recognize that where we are lacking and which areas have remained aloof from the hands of development.
So, here I want to unveil some of the positive effects of the pandemic which cannot be denied in any way:
Opportunity to rekindle the relation lost with our family:
Gautama Buddha says “Family is not about blood. It’s about who is willing to hold your hand when you need the most”
In this hustle and bustle of life, most of the time we forget about spending time with our families. We give priority to our career and job, which is obviously necessary, but in balance with relations. But, what we were not able to do till now, has been done by this pandemic in a jiffy.
As a preventive measure, the Central government imposed the National lockdown in four phases starting from 25 March 2020. ‘STAY HOME, STAY SAFE’ is the most famous line these days during the whole period of lockdown. But, staying home would bring the family closer and would strengthen the ties among the members of the family, no one would have even thought about such a change. This is really a kind miracle in this era of a busy routine. From almost seven months, we are with our families, enjoying the spare times which we receive from our daily schedule.
Enhancing health consciousness among the people:
If we divide the time into two phases, pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, we got to know that we are paying heed to our health needs during the period of the pandemic. This pandemic period had generated a new kind of health consciousness in us towards our health.
Gautama Buddha says “Every Human being is author of his own health or disease”
The current global health crisis is slowly altering the way people manage their health. Also, by the spread of this pandemic, people are showing concern towards the need and importance of the green and clean environment. A change in the attitude of people towards the environment can be observed. Not only this, but they are also switching towards the consumption of organic foods in this era of burger and pizza. They are also accepting traditional methods for boosting their immunity power. This is a commendable change which the pandemic has brought in society.
Reduction in environmental degradation:
As cleanliness and sanitation have emerged as the need of time, people are now more aware and attending towards the environment protection. Earlier, we could see only smoky vehicles on the roads rushing in every direction. But now, it has reduced due to continuous lockdown and restricted movement. Due to this, it has been observed that pollution dropped across many cities in India. In a study carried out by the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB), AQI of Patna was 300 on 21st March, but on 27th April (during lockdown), the AQI dropped to 76.
The chairman of BSPCB Ashok Kumar said “the findings of the study show an overall improvement in the air quality of the state since the implementation of the lockdown on 22 March”. Also, in other cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, a reduction in air pollution has been observed from 74 days lockdown says an analysis of the CPCB Air Quality Index Data. This is a kind of miracle, as, from a long time, we were anxious to decrease pollution in Indian cities, especially after the report of WHO, which ranked New Delhi as the world’s most polluted city in 2014. It happened after a long time when we can see blue skies in the cities!
Reduction in overcrowding:
“Don’t go in the overcrowded areas”. This is the most important line which we usually say every day to our kith and kins. Moreover, family functions, marriages, parties, lavish festive celebrations are being postponed due to the pandemic, in order to avoid overcrowding. People are celebrating their festivals with great simplicity, instead of making it the ceremony, a cynosure. They are celebrating festivals for happiness, which is the reason behind every festival. This is a positive change brought by this stressed situation persisting in the whole world.
Revolution in the field of Medical science and health care sector:
Medical Science is an indispensable part of any country. The responsibility of our health is on the strong shoulders of our doctors. They are lifesavers. And nowadays, where a large number of population is ailing with this coronavirus disease, our doctors are there with them and putting strenuous effort to help them achieving victory over their disease.
It is clear that Medical Science is at its peak now as we are trying to evolve Vaccine for Coronavirus. This is also a new opportunity for research in the field of virology. Also, the healthcare sector is at the epicentre of this unprecedented global pandemic. Earlier, the PPE kits were imported in India from other Nations. But now, as the need for it arose suddenly in this pandemic situation, manufacturing of PPE Kit in India ramped up. Now, domestic manufactures provide medical devices, protective gear, diagnostics, hospital equipment, and telemedicine services. A large number of N- 95 masks are also being manufactured in India. Moreover, as a part of stimulus package Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in May, Rs 15,000 Crore has been earmarked to strengthen Public Health infrastructure, down to the block level.
According to the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry, a private industry body, the capacity of manufacturing the ventilators alone has increased from 3,000 a month in February to 33,000 a month in May. By 9th June, the Centre and States have designated 958 COVID hospitals across the country, 2,313 COVID Health centres, and 7,525 COVID care centres. Is this not a drastic change brought by the situation? The answer is of course yes. It can be expected that the changes would give a new dimension to the field of medical science and health care and would emerge as one of the strongest sectors in India.
The inclination of society towards technology:
‘WORK FROM HOME’ has emerged as a compulsion imposed by time on us. Everyone is working from home with the use of technology. Even, the classes of schools and colleges are running through the online platform. Courts are also working through the online platform such as Zitsy app, etc. So, we can observe how technology is playing a vital role in every field these days. India’s software and services exports grew 8.1% to $147 billion in the fiscal year 2020, according to the National Association of Software and Services Companies. This is also a kind of success for the technology sector in itself.
In the field of robotics also, a lot of development is taking place. For instance, a robot named CRO-bot has been created and deployed in Holy Cross Hospital, Kalyan to serve COVID-19 patients.
Industrial opportunity for India:
China has remained within the scrutiny regarding the origination of coronavirus from Wuhan. It has affected industrial scopes in China. Even, prior to this COVID-19 pandemic, companies were shifting from China due to rising input costs and US-China trade war. The virus just added fuel to the fire. Due to disruption caused by it, companies started looking to relocate their production hubs. The companies are moving away from China, and this would bring a new industrial opportunity in India. In a talk at IIM Calcutta, Chief Economic Advisor said that the outbreak of coronavirus provides a good opportunity for India to follow an export-driven model.
If we analyze the potential of India for welcoming these industries, then it can be observed that India is rich in unskilled labours, and had a robust service sector. so, India can accept this opportunity with open arms.
‘In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity’
- Albert Einstein.
Life of a human being is like a bucket full of water of challenges up to the brim. But it depends on us to discover petals of roses within it. Similarly, from the global challenge which is being faced by us, we need to discover an opportunity from it. Then, it would be easier for us to overcome it. These challenges cannot put a bar on our way to view a situation, as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
This coronavirus pandemic has brought a challenge for human beings. But, we need to accept it and use our wits to convert it into a huge opportunity. We have the opportunity to look into the loopholes in different sectors and endeavour to remove it accordingly. So, it is the time to come together and try hard to bring a light of new development in our country, which would not only lighten up the darkness of the challenges but fill up the upcoming period with beautiful colours of happiness.
Astha Priya | ICFAI Law School, Dehradun