Human economy

"For a human, integral, united and participative development in harmony with the living"


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Le Mené, always a pioneer...

Le Mené, always a pioneer...  


"The future can't be predicted, it has to be built!" 


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The town of Le Mené in Brittany hosts the office of the international secretariat of INHE, because for over fifty years it has been a territory on the road to Human Economy under the impetus of Paul Houée, who was very close to L-J Lebret. See the book Paths towards Human Economy. After a period devoted to organising the merger of 7 communes, the territorial dynamic has just been relaunched.

Marie Grippaudo, who is in charge of communications for INHE, lives in the commune and has been very committed to her region for many years, gives an account of this relaunch.





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This was the slogan used by the Le Mené municipal team, led by Isabelle Le Gall (Director General of Services) and Florian Grass (Sustainable Development Officer) and chaired by Gérard Daboudet, the town's mayor, to invite residents to get together and discuss their daily living environment.


On Friday 17 November, in the Saint-Gouéno village hall, around fifty people from all over the commune responded to the call: associations, local authority staff, tenants, owners, farmers, employees, elected representatives, people who have been involved for a long time; however, whatever their status, they were all curious or invested in the dynamics of the area.


A welcome drink was offered to us, for an initial exchange or reunion, which was much appreciated.


Then, under the guidance of host Roseline Durand from the Atelier des petits ruisseaux, the evening's proceedings were presented, with an initial assessment of the territory's strengths and weaknesses.



- New commune since 1 January 2016 (investment leverage) ;

- Authentic and natural preserved environment;

- A dynamic energy sector (a pro-active area in terms of energy and ecological transition);

- A very large factory in the area: the slaughterhouse of Kermené is a subsidiary of the E. Leclerc Group since 1978, and a major player in the French food industry. 2,800 workers are employed at the Le Mené site, compared with 4,000 at the group's 7 other sites, all in Brittany;

- A low unemployment rate;

- A positive migratory balance;

- 128 vibrant cultural and sporting associations;

- Le Mené, a key local centre within the LCBC Communauté de communes de Loudéac Communauté Bretagne Centre. Le Mené has a proven track record of working together, thanks to its archipelago configuration, which has required commitment and participation from each of the 7 market towns. The competence of the Le Mené commune puts into perspective what the 42 communes of LCBC must achieve together: a strong common identity, it while retaining the culture of each. It is an example of action;

- School services and the presence of an ESD-labelled secondary school. The "E3D" label, which stands for École ou Établissement en Démarche globale de Développement Durable, was developed by the French Ministry of Education to recognise and encourage schools and educational establishments that are committed to a comprehensive approach to sustainable development;

- From a health point of view, an area recognised through the ZIP (Zone d'Action Prioritaire) scheme;

- Dynamic employees who are committed to their work;

- The emergence of a group of residents motivated to get involved in the Loudéac Communauté Bretagne Centre community of municipalities.



- At 163.23 km2 in length, Le Mené is reputed to be the largest in Brittany. Situated in the extreme north-east of the Community of Communes, Le Mené is somewhat isolated and poorly served, particularly within the LCBC territory;

- Successfully consolidating the new commune from an identity point of view, it was born out of the transformation of the Le Mené Community of Communes into a new commune in 2016. As a result, the historic communes of Collinée, Langourla, Le Gouray, Plessala, Saint-Gilles-du-Mené, Saint-Gouéno and Saint-Jacut-du-Mené were "merged";

- Health services available, but under pressure;

- An ageing population;

- Fewer people working in agriculture, where there is a need to relocate farming and food production. Existence of a PAT LCBC (Territorial Food Plan);

- Little agricultural diversification in the area;

- Various tools piloted by LCBC PAT: territorial food projects aim to unite the various players in a given area around the issue of food, thereby helping to take account of the area's social, environmental, economic and health dimensions; PCAET: a planning tool that is both strategic and operational, enabling local authorities to address the whole range of air-energy-climate issues in their area; CRTE: Territorial Contract for Recovery and Ecological Transition;

All these national plans, absolutely essential in their implementation, lack simplicity in contacts. Organisational difficulties are still ongoing...


- Housing: ageing housing stock (fuel poverty);

- Ensuring the integration of allophone populations (whose mother tongue is not French) and vice versa to promote living together (more of a vigilance than a weakness).


The participants were then invited, according to their areas of interest, to take part in a round-table discussion on the living environment of its residents on a daily basis. 5 themes were chosen: Health, mobility, living together, shops and housing.


At each table, participants were free to express their views, based on their own experiences. A person appointed as "rapporteur" led the debate, and the results were then fed back to the group.

To complete the picture, the same exercise was repeated during the second workshop, which took place at the same time and place on 7 December.

New themes were raised around the ecological and energy transitions in the local economy:

Energy and the environment: - What new direction should the town set for itself in the future?  - What actions and projects have been launched to continue Le Mené's pioneering approach to energy? - How can we raise residents' awareness of the challenges of energy transition? - How can we promote and care for the local environment?

For agriculture and food: - How can we maintain agricultural activity in the municipality in the future? - How can we encourage the establishment of high value-added agriculture? - How can we create more dialogue between farmers and residents? - How can we reduce the impact of farming on the climate, water resources and biodiversity? - What food policy should we choose for our children and elderly? - Helping local people to eat well.

For shops and services: - How can we maintain the fabric of shops and services in the face of the rise of online shopping? - What shops and services are missing in Le Mené? - What alternatives can be put in place to maintain a local economy in rural areas? - How can we support local people who are jobseekers (particularly allophones)?


3 tables are looking at the changes that need to be made, revealing the constant concern for territorial dynamics in the commune. A time for reflection that will enable us to exchange ideas and update information on what has already been achieved.


A full report will be provided by the organisers: the municipal team and the commissioned agency "les petits ruisseaux", run by a former member of the MIR Association. As a reminder, MIR (Mené Initiative Rural) was created in 1997 by farmers, in the wake of the Salon des Fourrages, organised in 1995 in Plessala. It has brought the Mené region to life and raised its profile through its various events, particularly those dedicated to the environment in the Côtes d'Armor. With a reputation as the commune's "itching powder", it worked with the elected representatives of the time to seek out, develop and install renewable energies as part of a real regional dynamic, and even became a forerunner at national level. An exceptional human adventure that has left its mark on the history of the region.


In conclusion, the aim of this citizen participation in the residents' workshops is to feed into the discussions and projects led by the municipality's elected representatives. It's an approach that has often been tried and tested in Le Mené, at key moments in its history. In this way, residents can share and learn from each other, become active players, gain confidence in their abilities and feel useful to the community in their role as citizens.


Collectively, the approach helps to create a local dynamic while sustaining the involvement of local residents. It facilitates action and fosters trust, proximity and conviviality between participants.


Marie Grippaudo

Head of INHE’s Communication

A resident of Le Mené, committed to her region




















Mis à jour le 20/02/2024











We at INHE-Asia Secretariat are sorry to share with you all that Fr. Antoine Sondag is no more. He passed away in France last week. Readers of the DCLI and RIEH (INHE) publications would have known Antoine through his editorials 

and his 'Libres Propos'. Unfortunately a victim of prolonged illness, Fr. Antoine was Editor-in-chief of RIEH(INHE) magazine ‘Development & Civilizations’ for more than 10 years, which is distributed around the world. Fr. Antoine Sondag had kept an enlightened eye on world affairs, especially on developing countries, of which 

he had in-depth knowledge and recognized expertise. In our publications, he made sure to introduce people from all backgrounds who have rich experiences of what a ‘human economy’ can be. His critical sense of things inspired everyone to reflect, dialogue and engage their thoughts and move forward. We join his loved ones in sharing their grief, saying goodbye to Fr.Antoine and bringing his memories to life.


In Solidarity,

L.A. Samy & N.S. Babu

On behalf of RIEH(INHE)-Asia



Antoine Sondag, a diaconal priest


Very sad this week to record and report the death on Saturday 7 November of French priest, Fr Antoine Sondag, a friend for over 30 years, chaplain to the International YCS during the late 1980s and to Pax Romana ICMICA some 20 years later.

Born in 1948 at Sarraguemines near Metz in France's Lorraine region, now part of the Grand Est, Antoine later graduated from the elite Institute of Political Science in Paris, better known as "Sciences Po" to its students.

Quickly, however, he took another path, entering the seminary and being ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Metz, where he served in a parish for ten years.

I believe that it was there that he became involved as a chaplain with the Jeunesse Etudiante Chrétienne (Young Christian Students) movement.

By the time I met him in Hong Kong in 1989, he was chaplain for the International YCS.

But I really got to know him and appreciate his friendship and generosity later when I studied and worked in Paris for several years.

By then, he had become secretary-general of the French bishops National Commission on Justice and Peace. Later still he worked for Secours Catholique (Caritas France) as the head of its research department.

Following that he returned to the French Catholic Bishops Conference as the director of their "mission universelle" or international affairs department.

In 2011, he joined us in Bangkok as the keynote speaker for a peace-building forum hosted by the Cardijn Community International.

More recently he edited "Développement et civilisations," the magazine published by the Centre Lebret-IRFED, which promoted development in line with the work of the Dominican, Louis-Joseph Lebret, who had founded the jocist-inspired specialised movement for young maritime workers before making his name as a development specialist and the inspiration of Pope Paul's encyclical, Populorum Progressio.

At an intellectual level, he published a number of books dealing with subjects ranging from the demography of the Catholic population to the question of poverty.

One of his most hardhitting books bears the title "On ne supprimera jamais la pauvreté. Même pas vrai" - "We will never get rid of poverty. Totally untrue." In a similar vein, he also published "La solidarité, chemin de spiritualité" - "Solidarity, a spiritual path."

And finally, "Pour une église diaconale, Chrétiens au service de la société" - "For a diaconal church. Christians at the service of society."

In September 2019 he moved to Villejuif, an inner suburb of Paris, where he became part of the local Catholic parish. By then, however, he knew he had the cancer that would claim his life this month.

Yet he continued to welcome friends from around the world and also to financially assist those in need.

Aware of his probable fate, Antoine took the opportunity to record a remarkable video that I will post here for those who understand French and which he divides into three parts: thanks, pardon and hope.

I have translated it into English here.
Indeed, just five days after his death, his "testament" has already been translated into over ten languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Spanish, Italian, Filipino, Tamil, Vietnamese, Indonesian.
It is a fitting tribute to Antoine's quiet yet powerful influence and impact.
Meaningfully, indeed providentially, his funeral will take place tomorrow, 13 November, which is also Cardijn's birth anniversary as well as "IYCS World Day."
As his Villejuif parish colleagues noted, he "placed himself in the line of the Catholic social doctrine developed by Frédéric Ozanam during the 19th century."
In an age that has grown tired of an authoritarian, clerical, top-heavy Church, Antoine Sondag showed us what it means to be a truly diaconal priest at the service of his people and offers us a model of how to build a genuinely diaconal Church.


Stefan Gigacz


A Dieu (Joseph Cardijn Digital Library - in 10 languages)
A Dieu père Antoine (Eglise de Villejuif)
Guido Mocellin, Un testamento spirituale in Rete: i «grazie», il perdono, la speranza (Avvenire)
Fr Antoine Sondag (Online celebration 21 November) (Pax Romana ICMICA)
Décès du Père Antoine Sondag (Diocèse de Metz)
L'adieu d'Antoine Sondag (Secours Catholique)
Antoine Sondag funeral details and live broadcast (Diocese of Metz/Facebook)

Labels: Antoine Sondag, ICMICA, JEC, Louis-Joseph Lebret, Pax Romana, YCS.
Mis à jour le 03/06/2021

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AREDS Team Lockdown escalates Humanity in India  



The burning issue of the world today is COVID-19 which lays its deadly hands on people across the countries indiscriminate of nationality, color, creed and religion. As corona deaths started increasing day-by-day, all nations-imposed quarantine and lockdown. India also imposed lockdown to fight out corona menace. However, imposing lockdown all of a sudden in a nation, where economic disparity is high, will create chaos only. Without an iota of concern about the hawkers, street vendors and petty traders and about the migrants, Tamil Nadu state government-imposed lockdown and it was like a bolt from the blue to the workers of unorganized sector.



As the entire Tamil Nadu shut down, the unorganized workers - majority of them are casual laborer’s - had no employment opportunities and no source of income. Later, Tamil Nadu state government announced a few packages of relief measures. But they were not truly helpful to the working population. It announced the distribution of Rs.1000 to every family card holder. Marginalized people, daily wage laborer’s and old people cannot make both ends meet with just thousand rupees at a time when price hike is soaring.


The instant the good hearts feel the situation, they voluntarily came forward to lending a helping hand by all means. When the government socially distanced itself from the reality and the poor people, individuals and social service organizations mobilized fund somehow and procured essential groceries and supplied them to the needy people. AREDS supplied a package essential grocery to the economically poor and handicapped at the grassroots level and to the migrants who were left alone on the streets in Karur district.



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As soon as the government of India announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs.500 to poor, destitute and deserted women and widows, AREDS staff flung into action to see to it that the benefits reach the potential beneficiaries. On the one hand, we have been appealing to the PM and the government through letters to take proactive action to alleviate the misery of the unorganized workers and to ensure social protection to all; and on the other, we make full use of the government’s mission to help out the people, who are the most vulnerable in this time of lockdown. The people in solidarity with us in 20 districts helped the most deserving people get the ex-gratia amount disbursed by Tamil Nadu government.



The plight of migrants

Internal migration is common in India because of the mode of economy followed by the government. Relatively, as far as the socio-economic and cultural development is concerned, the southern states of India are better than the northern states. Though big industries, mega projects and major mines are being operated in the northern states, social condition, educational status are very poor there. Hence, unemployment crisis clubbed with illiteracy force the people to migrate to other states, the southern states in particular, in search of livelihood.


Since work force is available aplenty, the employers of host states hire people at low wages and exploit their labour power without any timeframe. Knowing that what they get as wages in other states is higher than what is paid in their native places, the migrants work without any resentment or complaints. Sometimes, they fall victim to the illegal measures of the greedy industrialists and realtors. In Chennai an eleven-storied building collapsed, killing nearly hundred migrant workers, while it was under construction violating the legal norms.


Generally, the migrant workers do not have valid identities like family card, adhar card and the like. As a result, they were certified as illegal immigrants and the claims of their wards or relatives are proved null and void on legal ground. Their situation becomes much worse in the time of natural disasters, communal violence and curfew imposed by the government.



Journey home amid lockdown

Indeed their condition was awfully pathetic during the lockdown period announced by the government for fighting against the corona virus. Blessed are those who owned houses to stay or who stayed in rented houses. When the city, towns and villages shut down, migrant workers were left alone in the streets. They had no options as they did not have any money with them. Many of them were not paid for the work they had done months before the industries, factories and foundries came to a halt. As they had no employment opportunities, many of them were thrown out their rented houses.


Hence, they were left with only option of going back to their native places. Unfortunately, the government has paralyzed the motor transports and train services. Reports say that several of them were caught by the police, booked false cases and put behind bars. As they had no legal permission to move out, they either could not stay in the far-off localities or could not go to their native places.


In Karur district also about 50 migrant workers were aspiring to go back to their native places. AREDS staff availed special passes for the migrant workers from the district administration and helped the migrant workers catch the special trains to reach out their respective places.



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Bridging the producers and the consumers

Farmers had their produce harvested and kept them ready for sale. Consumers were expecting fresh arrival of vegetables and fruits to the selling outlets and to the market. However, during lockdown period, transport was absent and as a result, the movement of agricultural produce came to a standstill. With the relaxation made in the lockdown, the members of FPO (Farmer Producer Organization), promoted by AREDS in Karur district, collected the harvested produce and took them to the markets located in different localities. This way, the FPO members bridged the broken link between the producers and the consumers and restored the social transactions at the grassroots level. Now they realize the greatness of the farmers’ collective in the form of FPO in ensuring and continuing the humanity in the time of unexpected lockdown and social distancing.


This kind of human centered activities has been done by several people and organizations in different parts of Tamil Nadu state. But, accomplishing such activities, in the lockdown period, with a determination to move towards Human Economy is telling. 



Contribution of our old interns from abroad

On hearing the lockdown, without further ado, some our students, who were here in AREDS as interns in 2010, from overseas took efforts in every possible ways, mobilized certain sum of money and sent it to us for extending our support to the needy people in the time of lockdown. It is not the quantum of money that matters. What was appreciable was their true concern about the downtrodden masses, who they know well when they were working with ten years ago, and the solidarity they extended. Hence, people around the world keep the Human Economy moving without any halt.



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Lessons learnt

In any nation, people, who are socially and culturally connected, lead a healthier and happier life. This social bond is proved time and again whenever natural disasters strike. Though cyclone and flood devastate Chennai every year, the fraternal feeling and the social consciousness of the people remain intact and reinstated. Corona lockdown period also proved the greatness of humanity.


In the midst of social distancing imposed, people voluntarily helped the needy people by various means. As the manufacturing units, work places and trading centres have been closed down due to corona menace, people become unemployed – temporarily or permanently. To deal with the no-income situation, people have learnt many additional works and petty trades and earn money somehow.


As a definite and realistic strategy has not been followed by the government, majority of people are left in lurch and food availability is uncertain to them daily. It simply announced Rs 1000 per month as the lockdown relief fund to every family, with which people cannot make both ends meet. At the same time, the government did not fail to pay off the regular salary to the government employees. Ironically, those who are leading a comfortable life were also paid the relief fund Rs 1000. Migrant workers were completely ignored.


It is heartening to see the media and the labour unions, cutting across party lines, demand in one voice for the solution to the economic setback of the workers of unorganized sector, construction workers, domestic workers, street vendors, auto rickshaw drivers and sanitary workers in this lockdown period and in the long run.


Even in the time of lockdown and at the time of people undergoing social distancing, oppression against dalits, sexual violence on women and children and custodial killings take place on the one hand. On the other hand, the government is enacting anti-labour laws making use of the situation, when people could not come forward to protest en masse. However, people, irrespective of caste and religion, extend helping hands to safeguard the lives of millions of poor people, who have been ignored by the government at the time of dangerous pandemic disease strikes the world. Corona virus kills people but people escalate humanity for vying and surviving it.










Mis à jour le 03/06/2021

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Covid-19 ** HDO in SRI LANKA ** “The global health of a society depends on the health of its poorest people

Covid-19 ** HDO in SRI LANKA ** “The global health of a society depends on the health of its poorest people  


Human Development Organization (HDO) - Sri Lanka


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The Human Development Organization (HDO) in Sri Lanka is a member organization of the RIEH, working in particular with agricultural workers on tea plantations. People standing up and reacting! to defend a vision of the world in solidarity. It is about understanding how the system works and how it creates exclusion in order to change it. This means creating solidarity and not competition, as of now. In its area of intervention HDO is mobilizing all the stakeholders to act on the different aspects of the fight against the pandemic.




We live in an unexpected time on the globe. The beginnings of Covid-19 and its accelerated spread not only led to the declaration of a global pandemic by the WHO, but also highlighted the fragility of health services and the powerlessness of the world's most vulnerable populations, exacerbating the inequalities that already exist in society. We share some excerpts...



The Human Development Organization (HDO) has initiated a number of immediate measures to combat the Coronavirus in the Central Region. These are :



Support and solidarity with health clinics.


HDO has received a number of requests from the Regional Director of Health Services, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy Districts, Medical Officers of Health and government authorities to provide them with medical and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use by doctors, nurses, public health inspectors, public health midwives, health workers, etc. Although equipment is scarce in the market, HDO is able to procure or produce PPE even during the curfew periods: face masks, gloves, hand washing disinfectants. This equipment has been delivered to the Nuwara Eliya Health Centre, the Kandy Health Centre, Ministry of Health officers in Maskeliya and Galaha, district secretariats, divisional secretariats, and police stations in the Kandy region. Thanks to the Fondation Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World Foundation), France for supporting this initiative.



Raising public awareness.


At this point, we, the civil society organizations and the general public, come together as one family and as a country as a whole to respect and support the decisions taken by the government. Together with the authorities, we have identified the populations least informed about the disease and the protection measures: the tea plantation workers' community, rural women, workers in the informal sector, migrant workers, children. In this context, the HDO organized awareness programmes on Covid-19 through the radio programmes "VIDIYAL" and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. The lack of Tamil speaking civil servants is also a challenge, so we are organizing awareness programmes in Tamil language for the benefit of the plantation community and other minorities. The programme reaches the Central, Uva and Sabragamuwa provinces.


For these awareness-raising programs, community volunteers and HDO staff establish and strengthen coordination with the authorities. They provide information on Covid-19, health facilities, government subsidies, delivery of vegetables and food products, etc. for the benefit of the public which is seeking access to public services. The Government of Sri Lanka provides information on the health status of Covid in each district through Media Network and mobile phones.

It also shows how to protect oneself from the spread of the Corona virus through pictures so that illiterate people can easily understand and practice protective measures. In containment zones, family members can easily understand these measures and practice them to stop the spread of the virus and be safe.

However, there is still a need to raise awareness among marginalized groups in their own language. Prevention is better than cure. For this HDO proposes to design, print and distribute information material such as leaflets, posters, stickers, booklets, CDs. HDO staff have already designed posters and stickers.



Capacity building for health workers.


The Covid-19 is a new challenge in the field of health and medicine. Many health workers and volunteers are supporting the health authorities to defeat the Coronavirus. In this regard, we are organizing capacity building trainings for health workers and volunteers from civil society organizations on the technical side of Covid-19 and future challenges for local communities.



Development of cooperatives.


HDO offers a service to put producer-farmers (vegetables, dairy products, food products, fruit, ayurvedic medicines...) in contact with consumers to guarantee quality products at a fair price for the benefit of consumers and farmers. A discussion has been initiated with district secretariats, divisional secretariats, the Department of Agriculture, farmers' groups and community organizations on the construction of a cooperative system. Thus HDO proposes to build a mobile fair market system.



Support for food self-sufficiency.


The International organizations are beginning to fear that the already high number of victims of VIDOC-19 will be worsened by deaths from lack of food, particularly in the world's most vulnerable countries. According to FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, uncertainty about food availability may prompt decision-makers to take restrictive measures to safeguard national food security.

... In 2007-2008, these measures proved extremely detrimental, especially for low-income food-deficit countries, and thwarted the efforts of humanitarian organizations to procure food for the needy and vulnerable.

... The health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on some of the poorest countries are still unknown. Yet we can say with certainty that any crisis in food supply resulting from bad policy will be a humanitarian disaster.

In this context, the HDO and Civil Society Organisations propose to support local communities to initiate local food production: kitchen gardens, production of small fruits and vegetables, animal husbandry, support to small farmers, promotion of micro and small enterprises, etc. HDO is in discussion with the seed production unit of the Peradeniya Department of Agriculture on this subject. We plan to provide vegetable seeds to communities in our target areas. HDO is also visiting the plantation community politicians, plantation management and the government to provide the bare land available in the plantations for young people and unemployed families for agricultural production. HDO is seeking generous support from partners and sponsors to carry out the project.



Food emergency.


HDO plans to provide basic foodstuffs to thousands of disadvantaged people, women and children on plantations, day labourers, the disabled, and the elderly who have limited access to basic food grains during this period of confinement. The Organization plans to provide basic services to families during the period of confinement and until the situation returns to normal when people can go out and earn a living. HDO is seeking generous support from partners and sponsors to carry out the project.


Mis à jour le 30/06/2020

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INHE ASIA - INDIA ** Covid-19** Open letter to Narendra Modi  

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                                           Open letter


“Call for urgent action to provide social protection for all unorganized workers and the most vulnerable.  Response to Covid 19”


Our friends of INHE ASIA, continue tirelessly their fight for social security coverage for precarious workers. In these times of Coronavirus, we echo the open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India: Narendra Modi in the form of an advocacy: "Call for urgent action to provide social protection to all unorganized workers and the most vulnerable.  Response to Covid 19".



Mr. Prime Minister,


          As India grapples with the spread of the new Coronavirus, or COVID-19, the government has taken a number of measures to prevent its spread. More and more companies are asking their employees to stay at home and switch to online working mode. Sports events have been cancelled, colleges and universities have closed their doors and public gatherings have been restricted. We are positive about all the initiatives taken by the Ministry of Public Health and the Government. However, all these support measures lack support for workers in the unorganised sector, who represent almost 92% of the total workforce and who, for the most part, have no other option but to continue working. Daily wage labourers such as seasonal agricultural workers, food delivery workers, taxi drivers, security guards, contract health workers and waste pickers cannot work from home. Domestic workers, construction workers or internal migrant workers have to risk their lives to feed their families and escape from starvation.

There are already cases of domestic workers who have contracted the virus in the workplace and many of them have been asked to go on leave without pay or benefits. 8,000 children in India, as we all know, are starving to death every day. Unorganized workers who stay at home will cause more deaths from hunger than Covid.19 !


          A number of governments around the world have taken several social protection measures, including allocating considerable amount of money to protect their people. Cancellation of interest payments by borrowers, provision of food for the needy, postponement of EMIs for their loans, financial support for the self-employed who have to close down their small businesses, extended temporary unemployment benefits, etc.

Spain, has decided to place all its private health care providers and establishments under public control while the spread of COVID-19 continues to take hold of the country.

In the U.S., President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin have offered to send cheques of up to $1,000 to American adults. Such an economic aid package was overwhelmingly passed by the House of Representatives. It is unfortunate that the Government of India has not increased its disaster management fund to meet this pressing need or announced any other economic support to the poor who are losing their jobs.The preventive and health measures proposed and advised by the government will be difficult to implement for millions of people who earn their living through work on a daily basis.


How can the awareness-raising measures proposed by the government be applied to this population that needs to be supported with minimal existential economic social protection? How can the poor and slum dwellers who have little space to walk between the doors of their neighbours be isolated? 


We are still waiting for leaders to understand this and chalk out plans for specific projects with preventive plans that take into account the vast majority of the population, precarious workers in unorganized sectors and their families.

Questions arise. Instead of losing millions of rupees to support companies of all sizes, it would be better to allocate a few millions to help these vulnerable people to meet their daily needs.

Some of the Indian state governments have already taken some measures: like the UP government which announced Rs.15,000 assistance to all poor families and the government of Kerala which announced assistance to families not eligible for pensions or employment guarantee schemes.


If they did, why wouldn't it be possible all over India?


That is why we call on the Honourable Prime Minister to take the necessary measures to ensure social protection for all, especially the most vulnerable unorganized workers. In the short term, during the Covid 19 crisis, we call for a minimum of Rs. 20,000 to be sent to all adults of the vulnerable population in India.

As this is not an ordinary disaster, we need to address it not only for the time being, but we need to ensure that all vulnerable populations have access to social protection throughout their lives. It is time for the government to take comprehensive and adequate social protection measures to ensure social security coverage for all.

We therefore also urge you to involve all trade unions and other organizations in the distribution of aid and implementation of social protection measures.

The ILO's call for the benefits of economic progress to be shared by all must be heeded now.

While we appreciate all the measures taken by the government to deal with this pandemic, we hope that the above requests will be considered an urgent need for the current session of Parliament.

We hope that the response can be such that it will initiate efforts to create a more equitable and sustainable health care and social protection system.


Thank you, Prime Minister, for your commitment to take a firm action on our request, which we know is essential. Hopefully."


Mis à jour le 02/06/2021

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