Hyderabad: When the coronavirus finally exhausts itself and the danger is over, let’s do something good for our country. Let’s spend our holidays in India, eat in local restaurants, buy local meats and veggies, buy clothes and shoes from Indian brands and support local businesses.
These businesses are going to find it very difficult to get back on their feet and survive without our help. They’re suffering badly right now. Let’s do our bit in helping each other stand and grow again. God bless India.
This is a Facebook forward that everyone from industrialist Harsh Goenka to students are endorsing. Why uplift the Turkish economy by celebrating our big fat weddings there, when it is pro-Pakistan? Why holiday in the US which is so tough on us in the matter of visas? Why contribute to the economy of the British who looted us or of Europe which has never done anything for us?
Going on holiday now is anyway not an option for the majority of us, who need to get back to work ASAP after the pandemic ends. But the lucky few who can afford a small break would be well advised to think of spending their money exploring the hills and beaches of our own country.
And when it comes to shopping, groceries included, many feel it’s our moral responsibility to buy Indian brands and commodities. In fact, there are many forwards doing the rounds, urging us to continue buying from the bandi wala, local kirana shop and neighbourhood stationery and fruit shops because they were the ones who ensured that we got our essentials when online giants who we had patronized earlier shut shop.
Currently, this is the sentiment. But will it continue? Will life get back to “normal” once the lockdown ends?
It’s naïve to think that the lure of ordering online from e-giants, indulging in retail therapy from the West, or the thrill of travelling the world will end because of the shock we have got.
But we need to think. How much of an extra effort are we willing to make for our economy from now on? Has this lockdown changed us and our priorities in any way?
Nisha Dhawan, Country Director, India, Empower, explains that “What the lockdown has enabled is an increase in consciousness about the resilience of the informal sector and, more importantly, how much of a difference it makes to buy from local, small scale vendors. I think it has (already) resulted in a shift of consciousness that we shouldn’t always choose the easy (add to cart) option in our day-to-day lives.”
The lockdown has forced Divya Jain, Founder, Safeducate, to slow down and take a look at her life, the people around her and what really matters. “There is a new appreciation towards everything that is local and fresh. I definitely want to consume products and brands which I know about, closer to me and mine. Given the economic devastation that I do feel will follow, I see myself buying a lot more for Indian designers versus the West; using my local grocery store as well as deep diving into Indian destinations for our next holiday,” says Divya.
Sindhura Indukuri, director The Shri Ram Universal School, wants to promote travel within India. “My first international trip was when I was 12 years old. And my son, who is only four, has travelled outside the country more often than within the country. There are so many places within India that my children have never been to, and I would like to take them to these places now,” she says. Sindhura is also reviewing her supply chain and giving priority to local sourcing.
“There are so many alternatives to my sources outside India, whether it is the toys we buy for our kids, the clothes we wear or the food we eat,” she points out.
It may not be possible to completely change our habits post the pandemic, but it’s great to see how the ‘Spend in India’ sentiment is being taken seriously....