Rising global concerns on the vast implications of the COVID19 outbreak on our future is obvious with anxieties mounting on economies, jobs and the very existence of mankind.
However, amidst the gloom, there are several small discoveries that are worth cherishing. Who could have thought that MyLab Discovery Solutions, a small startup in Pune would become the first Indian firm to produce indigenous Coronovirus testing kits?
At a time when India is in dire need of high-quality and cost-effective testing gears, the kit that takes months to develop was produced in a few weeks. What is even more inspiring is the story of Minal Dakhave Bhonsale, the virologist who headed this project. According to a BBC news report, Bhonsale managed to deliver the project amid an advanced stage of pregnancy. The project was completed a day before she delivered a baby girl.
Hundreds of such incredible stories that demonstrate resilience, hope, and power of the human spirit are unfolding around us every day. Look at the ports sector, for instance. Everyone understands the critical role played by ports in anchoring essential supplies in a country, which demands the presence of trained workforce at sites. How does one ensure their safety? A team of engineers at the Adani Port in Vizag took us by surprise. In just about 4 hours, the team created a sanitized water shower for everyone to use. Instances like these reinstate what I have always believed. Difficult times bring us closer and make us stronger to face any eventuality. We must be able to look around ourselves and find these narratives.
You need not look too far to get inspired. I have come across several inspiring narratives on my social media timelines or by simply observing people in my immediate neighbourhood. Several families from different sections of the society have invested their lockdown time in aggregating essentials for the underprivileged. These are common people leading humble lives but what makes them extraordinary is their intent to care for others. Domestic helps, daily wage earners and scores of people who earn their living by doing odd-jobs are being looked after, not just by governments, large corporations or charitable organisations, but by common people living around them. There are also virtual groups of animal lovers who are feeding strays and ensuring that they find safe shelter.
Recently, I read about Naveen MS, a civil service aspirant who took up the responsibility of creating awareness and dispelling myths on Coronavirus among rural communities in Karnataka. According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the young man from Chitradurga district became a part of a social media group that helped people with limited access to authentic information on the pandemic. What was most admirable was his vision. He thought that for the economy to resurrect it was essential that people’s minds stay healthy. In fact, I feel gratified to see the community outreach work being delivered by young volunteers at the Adani Foundation. Over the past three weeks, millions settled in the remote corners of the country have been touched and empowered to stay safe against the COVID19 outbreak.
I don’t think this collective goodness and love for each other has erupted suddenly. It was always there within us. The COVID19 crisis has only presented an opportunity for us to reflect upon this feeling of compassion and worked as a trigger to unite people.
However alarming the post-Coronavirus world might seem to appear, it does not pull me down. Instead, by looking around I get great hope and confidence to bounce back. The Coronavirus can restrict our movement but it cannot contain our urge to fight and help each other. It cannot stop us from being positive about the future.
Global economic history is full of major ups and downs. India’s domestic economy has always stood as a great shield in protecting the country from global economic headwinds. I have no doubts that the nation will be able to rise above this crisis. It might take time but there is ample optimism to show that it is possible.
Together, let us stay resilient and hopeful.
(Gautam Adani is Chairman of Adani Group. The views expressed are personal)