Sanjoy Hazarika sheds light on ‘new normal’

Session centre around lockdown, its impact globally

(Tribune News Service)

April 29, 2020

A lot of people have been probably asking about a term, new normal, during the lockdown, which has been extended again in Punjab.

Sanjoy Hazarika, international director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, threw light on it during an interaction with people through a digital event, ‘Ghaire Baire: The Home and the World’.

The session hosted by Majha House centred around the subject of the lockdown and its impact globally. Besides, the session talked about cultivating and adapting to ‘new normal’ in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Sunjoy said: “It is not important from where the coronavirus spread or who is behind it. The important thing is now that we all are geared up and are cooperating to minimise the damage done by the virus. Since the vaccine will not be available for the next few months, all we can do is to make efforts to prevent the disease. And by that we mean that the lockdown, whether complete or partial, might become the new normal for mankind.”

When asked about how the pandemic had affected the common man, Sunjoy said the poor is the most affected.

“Daily wagers, labourers and migrants are all going through situations we cannot even begin to imagine. It is sad that we, who are locked in our homes with access to food, phones and Internet, are complaining while no one is really concerned about the plight of the migrants. Can you imagine walking thousands of kilometers to reach your homes?” he asked angrily, questioning law and order arrangements in place across the country.

“These people have to go without food and potable water for whole days. Who is looking after their rights and their welfare?,” he asked.

During a conversation with Sunjoy, Preeti Gill, patron, Majha House, raised the question of the role of media during the lockdown.

Sunjoy, who is a former correspondent with the New York Times, said, “The media always has a very important role to play, but it assumes a graver responsibility in times like these where people hunger for news, numbers and data. These should be shared without sensationalising the situation and politics of all sorts should be avoided.”

He also talked about the innovative ‘Boat Clinic’, which is facilitating the lives and well-being of people in remote areas of the North-East. “The Boat-Clinic has been in place in North-East villages for the past few years. We are dedicated to bringing medicines and medical facilities to the people living by the river banks, who do not have access to such facilities.” Read More