“We have to learn to maintain physical distancing but at the same time create economic and healthcare closeness in South Asia,” said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, speaking at a webinar on South Asia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 30, 2021.
Titled, ‘Covid-19 and South Asia solidarity: Sharing grief, hope, strategies’, the gathering, moderated by the noted Pakistani journalist Beena Sarwar, also adopted a resolution describing the pandemic as a wake-up call for regional cooperation, and pressed for equitable vaccine supply across the region.
Stressing the need for contact and collaboration across South Asian borders, Sen said our battle is not just against the coronavirus but also against the economic injustice of hunger and poverty created by the pandemic.
Sen was among nearly 200 opinion-makers and activists from across South Asia and the diaspora who came together to attend the webinar.
Academics, journalists, activists and doctors shared experiences and discussed strategies over the two-hour long event, organised by the recently launched South Asian Peace Action Network (SAPAN). The plenary session was followed by an interactive discussion with volunteers and healthcare professionals
about their experiences on the ground.