Our pandemic response: supporting...
Life after COVID-19
Industree has seen with COVID-19 a huge reinforcement of it’s model that in it’s design, mitigated risks for most vulnerable populations.
Industree Foundation works on participatory processes, to create livelihoods for the underserved, in Creative Manufacturing vocations through formal work that keeps them as secure as possible, mentally and physically. This systemic thought has proven especially crucial during COVID-19. In India, 93% of the workforce are in the informal sector, undocumented, unacknowledged, lacking the assurance and security that the formal sector provides. As a result of the country-wide COVID-19 lockdown, millions of these workers have found themselves unemployed as MSME’s terminated their jobs. Now, India is seeing a mass migration as millions return home to their villages, unable to afford to stay in urban areas without the income that their informal work provided.
Industree, on the other hand, has moved thousands of artisanal producers from the informal sector to the formal sector and organized them into producer-owned cooperatives. Through the COVID crisis producer’s within these Coops, or Producer Companies as they are called in India, are secure. Thanks to the institutional support of the well managed Producer Company structure, thousands of artisanal producers are being looked after, in this period, both mentally and physically, with continued stipends and access to health insurance through the crisis, as well as work from home with Dignity.
During this pandemic, the heart of Industree's response lies in protecting producers directly linked to its existing ecosystem, and using its expertise in addressing wider communities. In addition to carrying out its already funded programmatic activities, through distance learning, and home based work, Industree has initiated Task Forces in three areas of focus- Lives, Livelihoods, and Life after COVID-19: Business NOT as Usual.
- Awareness: Definition and communication of safety measures, translated to local languages and pictorial representations in alignment with government directives.
- Continual risk assessment: Continuous communication with artisans through calls and SMS to flag health issues and counsel on appropriate actions as determined by the government.
- Basic Necessities: Industree is distributing a basic nutrition, dry grocery pack, at Rs 1500, per month for a family of four, adding in masks and reusable sanitary napkins.
- Working with local bodies: Industree is working with gram panchayats and local administration to provide support to the communities that we work in.
- Women Support: gender-based violence support system. Industree has a panel of counsellors trained to take calls and provide support our women artisans during these tough times.
- Dignity Range of Products: Producers are currently working from home on making PPE products such as masks and protective gears.They will further continue to work from home creating products designed for modern markets after a simple training process. Those in critical need will earn with Dignity, for their immediate welfare and those of their communities, and these would be collected and sold post lockdown’s lifting. The method is also called Work Forward.
- Distance Learning: Industree is developing short visual curriculums to help producers hone their production skills as well as enhance their soft skills and entrepreneurship skills. During these pandemic times so they are ready with necessary skills when they to go back to work
Life after COVID-19: Business NOT as Usual:
Using its existing Theory of Change, which has shown it’s resilience in this pandemic, Industree is scaling, it’s systems change approach. These plans will focus on:
- Distributed Manufacturing: Bringing formal work to rural areas with aggregated value chains that can mitigate the risk facing long global supply chains that are easily disrupted. In the form of Producer Companies/ Coops.
- Inclusive Entrepreneurship: An increase of creative enterprises with producer-ownership or cooperative models shall provide vital stable income, health insurance, and social security.Industree will be using its expertise and experience in this area to make a timely, meaningful and long-lasting impact, and acknowledge the crushing impact this slowdown will have on the most vulnerable sections of the population without our support.