Arjun Jayadev joined the T20 Forum on Social Cohesion

“Now it’s maybe particularly an Indian phenomenon because of the strong lockdown we had last year, but I think across the world what we’re seeing in fact is that people are trapped in poverty because of the lack of employment opportunities, lack of income support, they’re increase in indebtedness, and their earnings remain depressed. So in that sense the news is extremely bad. Also, we’re seeing huge dislocations in the labor market itself. People who finally came into the formal labor force and had some sort of formal protections are now becoming informalized or worse as is the case with women in India, just leaving the labor force. When one asks for example social cohesion what can one say –it is devastating for any kind of view of an inclusive growth process where we’re trying to encourage many people into gainful employment and to actually see their welfare rise. Of course, financial vulnerabilities have risen many fold as a result of that. In addition, one ought to underline that this thing isn’t going away. Right now in India we’re in the second wave which is quite devastating. There are the very simple and awful thoughts of just basic mortality. What it’s going to do to you know many people’s indebtedness, their ability to earn incomes because this is not limited in India for example only to let’s say the relatively elderly but across the population distribution. I think we’re just at the beginning of trying to of seeing what it will do for social cohesion or destruction more likely. I think we had a mild wave last year and what we’re going to see this year as a result… we have yet to see but it will be bad.” — Arjun Jayadev

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