Nagrik Dialogue

20,000 attend in the largest convening for India’s Development at charcha 2020

Nobel Laureates, economists, development sector professionals, philanthropists, leaders of industry, government, academics and field workers bring 1L views as they address issues and path forward post-COVID

As countries grapple with the effects of Covid-19, it is becoming clear that the impact on the most vulnerable will be the hardest. In India alone, Covid-19 threatens to push 200 million people deeper into poverty. The/Nudge Foundation hosted charcha 2020 –  a platform to bring together development sector professionals, policymakers, philanthropists and community leaders to address the toughest challenges in a post-Covid world. 

From May 14-16 2020, charcha 2020 hosted 128 hours of dialogue across 16 parallel events to cover the broad range of topics in the development sector. It brought together Nobel Laureates Dr. Kailash Satyarthi (Founder, Bachpan Bachao) and Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Founder, Grameen), leading economists: Mr. Kaushik Basu and Mr. Justin Lin Yifu – both former chief economists of the World Bank, and Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian (Chief Economic Advisor to the PM) and 500+ speakers to discuss India’s response to the pandemic and engage the 20000+ audience in a conversation on the changing needs of India’s vulnerable populations, and strategies to build resilience against future shocks of this nature. 

A common theme that emerged from charcha was the need for a new normal that recognizes the need for inclusive development. “Whether it is education, health or entertainment – it has been us and them. If we go about business as usual, we will fail as humanity. Ending the dualism has to be at the centre of this conversation.” said Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, calling for a new form of conscious capitalism that values a triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental returns, and blurs the boundaries between public and private enterprise. 

There was also consensus that Covid-19 has lifted the mask of inequality and brought to the surface, hidden problems that we knew existed, but did not acknowledge. Domestic violence, migrants’ living and work conditions, land and labour laws all require fresh thinking and attention in the wake of the pandemic. “The last person in the society, the poorest of the poor should feel comfortable, should be smiling, and most importantly, must be protected. The economic policies and the political decisions must be guided and driven by the well-being of the last person of the society,” said Kailash Satyarthi in his plenary address. 

Speaking at the closing plenary Rohini Nilekani (Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam) said “This Pandemic has taught us so much. We are all in this together and we can only come out of this together.’ Since the onset of Covid-19, the role of civil society in containing and managing the health as well as the economic distress has been widely recognized. Charcha 2020 saw a strong push for greater collaboration between government and the nonprofit sector as a means to address the spiralling problems in a resource constrained environment. Ashish Dhawan (founder, Central Square Foundation) said, “The social sector is going to have a very hard time to survive. Coming out of this, we need to reset the relationship between the government and civil society.” 

About charcha 

charcha is a platform for India’s development sector to come together, and engage on the most pressing issues.

Events at charcha 2020 | Host organization

  • Education | Central Square Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
  • Health | Piramal Swasthya
  • WASH | WaterAid
  • Skill development and entrepreneurship | NSDC, The/Nudge CSDE, DeAsra and GAME
  • Rural Development | The/Nudge
  • Civil Society and Prosperity | Centre for Civil Society
  • Regulatory landscape for nonprofits | Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy 
  • Social Innovation | AIC The/Nudge
  • Climate and disaster mgmt | India Climate Collaborative and Goonj
  • Energy, Gender  | Dalberg
  • Financial Inclusion | Sattva
  • Philanthropy and Fundraising | The Bridgespan Group, CSIP, The/Nudge
  • Law and Justice | Agami
  • The Urban Informal Economy, Land and property Inclusivity | Omidyar Network India

About The/Nudge Foundation:

The/Nudge Foundation is a Bangalore based nonprofit on a purpose to alleviate poverty sustainably and at scale. Estd in 2015, we are a ~175 people strong team innovating to solve diverse problems of development through our Centre for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Centre for Rural Development and Centre for Social Innovation. 

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Nagrik Dialogue is the face of Nagrik Foundation’s communication skills that comes in the form of a monthly magazine. It will work as a bridge for those working at the grass roots level and those who support them in any form and manner.