28 March 2020
Let us talk about corporations. A lot of good and bad news has come to light since this breakdown started; and because we live in a globalised world I refer to corporations across the world, not just in India. For one, the airline industry is about to go bankrupt. They have spent tonnes of money on share buy backs but they are also crying for bailouts. A lot of people find this preposterous—not to mention unfair—because no poor, homeless individual anywhere is being bailed out. So far, this is only in the US.
Smaller companies like Blinkist have been generous, my wife tells me, offering premium services free till about mid-April. On the other end of the spectrum huge corporations like Nike have been just as generous, offering their premium services for free indefinitely, until the Coronavirus crisis is behind us. I believe in the work of only one of these companies (whose shoes I wear), but I appreciate them both.
Still others are helping in different ways: Mahindra in India has offered all their resorts as temporary facilities for patient care, and their manufactories for making ventilators. It is unclear if the government has taken up their offer. Skanray has also offered to start manufacturing ventilators on a large scale but the word is that the government has definitely not taken them up on their offer.
Speaking of the government, their response in Goa has been pathetic bordering on inhuman: all necessary services too have been shut down and people have nowhere to go for food or medicine. Across the country, as migrant workers are being tossed aside and forced to return home in large groups, the world is beginning to criticise the central government’s callous response.