How being together, inclusive & united will make a big difference to our COVID fight

Guest Column: Sundeep Chugh, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director - Benetton India Pvt Ltd, writes why every big and small effort matters to rout coronavirus from the world

e4m by Sundeep Chugh
Updated: Sep 1, 2020 10:26 AM
Sundeep Chugh

I still remember the day when the lockdown was announced. We had only 500 cases in the country and we were quite confident that this unprecedented and once in a century pandemic was not going to touch us and we would be out of it very soon. 

We thought everything was okay, we thought nothing was going to happen to us, we thought we were fortunate and the destined ones may be the invincible ones too and we shall conquer this with ease. 

The numbers started rising with each passing day and from 100 cases per day, we have reached a staggering 60,000 reported every 24 hours. However, we are still not as scared as we were then; may be due to the way we have now been habituated to COVID-19 around us, though unwillingly. 

Yes, eventually a massive country but a developing one with democratic attributes and a federal structure has its own strengths and weaknesses. Our Prime minister knew this and even admitted the same in his address when he said that our resources and infrastructure are not comparable to first-world countries like USA and other European nations and thus strongly advocated the need for implementing a series of lockdowns in quick succession so that we could thwart the virus, mitigate the immediate impact and also get time to prepare for managing the pandemic as and when it advanced in our country. 

In hindsight now, different people are observing and sharing their views on the various decisions taken during the course of lockdown in the interest of our nation in different ways. Everyone has a unique perspective. It is natural to have those, considering the fact that we are, after all typically a part of a population which has culturally maintained its argumentative tradition that is very much alive even today.  

The big question still remains - how do we fight and overcome this pandemic? 

Well, everyone has a role to play. The Government has its duties but we as responsible citizens and community also need to do our bit and contribute towards eradicating this global pandemic. So when we look around, the key reason for our existence - our SOCIAL CONNECT has been completely challenged by the pandemic and we are confined to stay within a set framework but even then there are umpteen examples of some really brave and courageous people coming forward, moving out of their comfort zones and taking some key initiatives and contributing towards the well-being of the society in a selfless manner without really caring for themselves. At times we wonder what we can do in such a difficult scenario but there are very easy ways of doing your bit. Just to share a perspective, I have personally been involved with and been a witness to some heart-warming acts of kindness like distributing groceries and vegetables to the needy on a regular basis or a case wherein a group of 100 women in society started an initiative of making Paranthas twice a week and distributing it along with pickles and juices to the migrants with the help of an NGO; they are almost close to distributing around 10,000 Paranthas by now. Also, on the professional front, in our organisation, we ensured that we allocated a part of our production on a daily basis for making and distributing face masks, to be donated to the Uday Foundation which in turn is helping us distribute the same to the underprivileged people across the key affected areas of our country. 

There are innumerable instances around us, many that I have witnessed and the others I have seen or heard on news mediums. There is no dearth of kindness in our country - should we choose to take a closer look. Many people are making contributions in every possible way they can afford - big or small. It’s the impact that counts. 

In fact, we need to intensify and spread this wave of social initiatives to counter the wave of the virus. We need to come together and dutifully fulfil our responsibilities within the acceptable social norms by identifying or creating a unique cause within our surroundings and then leading or participating in it along with our community; and in doing so, contribute our incremental bit and making it count in our collective fight against this deadly virus. 

Our unity in diversity is a very strong attribute which can pull us out of it. There are enough historical evidence and even recent events to substantiate this. Being together, inclusive and united in our approach will finally make a big difference as the time has come now to put in all our efforts to build an environment of optimism and positivity. Let us all UNITE for the most appropriate and relevant cause around us, make it happen and eventually conquer the pandemic.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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