The harvest of hope

Amid the fear and fatigue brought on by yet another bout of the pandemic, this Pongal, we harvest a positive outlook for the future for our communities

Published: 13th January 2022 06:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 06:47 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service


Respect and protection

Eighty percent of sanitation workers, particularly waste pickers, are women. Their contribution has been extensive during the pandemic. But, besides the basic protective gear, the corporation needs to ensure they are all vaccinated and given better protection. These are daily wage workers and so their wages need to be given without procrastination. Extra money has to be given for extra hours of work. These women also bear the brunt of gender and caste discrimination while doing their work. The least we can do is to treat them with respect for the work they do. Lastly, they need to have access to better toilets; keeping menstrual hygiene in mind. 

Priyanka Ulaganathan, operations manager, Neelam Social

For rights and safety

As an advocate actively working to represent marginalised people (palm workers in particular, and also indigenous people and fisherfolk), I wish to harvest a future free of attack and oppression for these people. That they are not subjected to human rights violations and allowed to find ways to nurture their work. For most of us continue to be unaware of the struggles people like panai eris face in their everyday life — from the false cases foisted on them, the social stigma attached to it and more. I would also like to harvest more work and progress in the area of protection for women against sexual harassment and abuse. 

Deepan, advocate

A path for deafizens

India houses one of the largest number of deafizens but it is unfortunate that unemployment among the deaf community is extremely high. Even though deaf literacy has seen an incline in the last 10 years, unemployment has continued to remain high. Lack of industry required skills, communication barriers and workplace acclimatisation issues being major hindrances to the socio-economic development of the deaf community. If companies could roll an inclusivity policy that includes job training in partnership with NGOs, sign language workshops for its hearing employees, normalise alternative methods like having a light bell to notify, to engage deaf employees etc, it would transform the lives of our country’s deafizens.

TKM Sandeep, founder, Deaf EnAbled Foundation

A quest for inclusivity  

We thought that the pandemic is coming to an end but the third wave is raging, so I look forward to some stability. It is also undeniable that there are changes in the environment because as a result of which new diseases and issues are emerging. So, we have to be kind to the world that we live in and pray and work towards a greener environment. And lastly, because of the work we do and the people who make the Banyan what it is, who are so diverse, colourful and different from each other, I am looking forward to celebrate that diversity and finding a sense of inclusion and togetherness.  
Mrinalini Ravi, deputy director, The Banyan     

Farming fairness

While we have sown and cultivated dedicated efforts, effective communication and enabling ecosystem (in the area of environmental issues and agriculture), we would love to harvest community well being — for farmer groups and Ennore-Manali region residents, a transformation of food and farming system towards agroecology approach, and better market access and fair price to more organic farmers, especially small and marginal farmers.

Karthik Gunasekaran, Chennai Climate Action Group and PGS Organic Council

The hope for care

“As you sow, so you reap.” I would have liked to have sown enough compassion, kindness and empathy to reap care and dialogue. Care, for the countless experiencing different kinds of pain and dialogue, to bridge our growing distances.

Swarna Rajagopalan, The Prajnya Trust

Trash or treasure

For any city, experimenting with circular economy will open up essential paths towards sustainability. At the individual level, we could start re-embracing the habits of carrying our own ‘reusable’ manjapais, Tote bags and dabbas. Business entities, hotels and supermarkets who might bill, say, `10 for extra packaging could now pitch in by flipping the packaging charges as sustainability discounts for such customers. It could all start with a simple perspective to start re-imagining trash as a treasurable resource, to make Chennai a Circular City.

Mayur Anand, MEEL Foundation 

Not just symbolic

My 2022 vision is to write a writ petition for a pathway to the beach, which is only done on a temporary basis. There needs to be some concrete action when it comes to facilities; cannot be just for symbolism or tokenism. I also hope for advancement in medical research, intervention and technology — if not for prevention, at least for retention of the vision left — for the visually-impaired, which is currently going ahead at a snail’s pace.  

C Govindakrishnan, Nethrodaya

Compiled by Kannalmozhi Kabilan, Sahana Iyer, Vaishali Vijaykumar


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp