How pandemics affect marginalized communities with Tarun Cherukuri


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Social workers are the ones who assist in people's well-being. They are the one who provides the basic and complex needs of the community. With the nature of their work, they are one of the primary witnesses of how biased and unequal our society is.

In today's episode of the Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, we will listen to a social worker’s perspective, Tarun Cherukuri, on bias and inequality. We will dive deeper into how social workers manage to assist people amidst the global crisis and what the government has learned from the problem and their plans to resolve it.

Social Workers in India During Pandemic

“We didn’t need to learn this lesson about public health and public goods in the

cost of three and a half million lives”. - Tarun Cherukuri

As an empathetic person, Tarun perceived the importance of caring for others. He mentioned the difficulties and helplessness he felt as he saw the effects of pandemics especially to those who have the least. At the same time, he mentioned all the things they learned from the situations they encountered and their countermeasures for it.

As to why he discusses this issue, he elaborated the following reasons:

  1. Proper Distribution of Food Supplies
  2. Fair Administration of Opportunities in Health, Education, and Labor Force
  3. Compounding Effects of the Pandemic in Marginalized Communities

The Equality Brought by the Pandemic

According to Tarun, the pandemic served as an equalizer for everyone, the fact that the virus attacks anyone regardless of age, gender, wealth, and social status. With this in mind, he is hoping that people will acknowledge fair opportunities for health and education.

The Current Situation of India

Tarun elaborated on the proactive measures that the government is doing especially in periods of lockdown. He also mentioned that they learned many lessons from last year’s food security system. At the same time, he also talked about their anticipation of the distribution of the food supplies as well as the vaccines. As an idealist who sees the reality of the situation at grass root levels, Tarun stressed on the need for a new category of capitalism called enlightened capitalism.

Bio Tarun Cherukuri is the Founder CEO of Indus Action, a public policy do-tank in India. Indus Action's mission to enable vulnerable families, sustainable access to legislated rights. He is passionate about community organizing, active citizenship, and system leadership to realize social justice goals in India. He has served in multiple roles at TeachForIndia (Fellow, City Director, Advisory Board Member) during the last decade. He graduated from Harvard Kennedy School in 2013 and is a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow.



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6 episodes