Bengaluru: The 2018 Multidimensional Poverty Index showed that in addition to the 1.3 billion classed as poor, an additional 879 million are at risk of falling into multidimensional poverty, which could happen quickly if they suffer setbacks from conflict, sickness, drought, unemployment and more. 

Particular to India, 8.5% of our population lies in poverty, whereas 19% are in an acute risk of falling into multidimensional poverty because of a small setback. In the past few weeks, COVID-19 is one such setback which will push millions decades back in development. 

COVID-19 has demonstrated the fragility of our system and showcases how there is an urgent need to build strong safety nets for our disadvantaged groups. Harish Hande, the founder and CEO of SELCO Foundation noted, “COVID-19 is a disaster that has unified us and affected the rich and the poor. But for the poor, COVID-19 is an everyday reality.” 

Post the crisis and learning from the environmental movement which Dennis Hayes is a part of, “we need to make sure that we rebuild with action towards climate, poverty and development”. Climate change has undeniable links with development; it is a developmental issue which needs to be addressed along with all other metrics of development. 

Also read: Earth Day 2020: Founder of Earth Day Network Dennis Hayes shares what led to largest civic event

“We have to be able to pull together as a planet, as a species. We need to start tackling climate change with a unified passion,” ended Hayes on a hopeful note.  

About SELCO Foundation: 

SELCO Foundation, founded in 2010, envisions a socially sustainable society. It seeks to create avenues for asset building, enhancement in quality of life and wealth creation that will uplift deprived sections of society through sustainable development solutions. The foundation works to link the benefits of sustainable energy to poverty eradication by collaborating with Governments, NGOs, financial institutions, public institutions, social enterprises, etc. The foundation plays a pivotal role in catalysing innovative and replicable processes of tailored sustainable energy solutions via a bottom-up approach.