Most Indians feel the Covid-19 pandemic is a “unique moment to transform societies”

Battling one problem at a time.
Battling one problem at a time.
Image: REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz
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When it comes to turning a crisis into an opportunity, Indians seem to be inspired by the country’s richest man.

A majority of Indians think that Covid-19 can be turned into a life-changing opportunity. Nearly 80% of Indian respondents in a survey said the pandemic is a “unique moment to transform societies to become more resilient to shocks.”

The survey was conducted by market analysis firm Ipsos MORI and the Global Common Alliance (GCA), a group of over 50 global non-profit organisations, in April and May across G20 nations.

People from countries like Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico also share this sentiment with Indians, the survey showed.

New habits during Covid-19 pandemic

Many Indians also said they favour giving up old patterns and habits that are proving toxic to the environment because Covid-19 has shown them how quickly they can adapt to change.

“Some of the most striking results of the survey are the very high levels of awareness, concern, and willingness to act to protect nature across so many countries including those in North America and Europe but also those in what is often called the global south—Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa,” said Diana Liverman, a professor at the University of Arizona and a member of the Earth Commission, GCA’s science partner. “People really want to do something to protect nature, but report that they lack information and face financial constraints to what they can do.”

While many of the survey respondents across G20 nations are of opinion that Covid-19 should be the priority and now isn’t the right time to worry about larger issues like climate changes, over 40% of Indians believe differently.

What do Indians think about climate change?

Worrying about the current climate emergency along with the Covid-19 outbreak, 79% of Indian respondents said the government should communicate effectively about the climate crisis as it will lead to the non-availability of natural resources in the coming years.

The findings of the survey have come at a time when an imminent risk of extreme climate conditions hovers around India. As per the IPCC report that was published on Aug. 9, India will frequently suffer from intense heat waves, extreme rainfall, and more cyclonic activity, among other weather-related crises in the coming years.