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Impact Driven Conversations

Jul 4, 2021

The pandemic severely affected people globally, but those that are in the marginalized community are weighing more than just the burden of the virus.  The world has focused statistically on developing and rich countries,  not realizing how it affected marginalized communities.

People in the marginalized community often experience exclusion and prejudice that resulted in long-term negating effects.  These people are those that are migrants, members of the LGBTQ community, daily laborers, sex workers, and many more— these communities should be considered as the central focus during these times. 

Tarun Cherukuri joins us in this episode of Impact Driven Conversations Podcast, as he talks about how the pandemic affected those in a marginalized community and how the predicament should be addressed, and how he and his organization helped in battling the crisis in India. He also discussed social entrepreneurship, impact canvas, and the certainty about the challenges faced by both the system and those responsible for handling the pandemic. 

You’re about to hear a very special podcast that may help you open your hearts to help those who are marginalized that are greatly affected by this pandemic. This podcast will also show you the importance of empathy and kindness in times like this. So, sit back and listen to Karthi and Tarun’s heart-warming discussion on this global crisis.

Tarun’s System for India's current situation


When asked about their response to the pandemic, Tarun said that the COVID response surely requires certain things to happen such as giving vaccines and providing medical instruments ( oxygen cylinders, beds, flow meters). He also stated that India is in a heightened emergency which means more numbers of infected people are popping up. 


Problems Tarun Encountered  when Dealing with the Pandemic and How he Handled it:


According to Tarun, he encountered many  problems during the crisis and 3 of these are:


  1. Viral infection looms in wave
  2. The underestimated struggle of vaccinating a country with 1.4 million people
  3. People being hesitant of getting vaccinated


Challenges Faced for Administrators and COVID-19 Responders


  1. Putting people in the center and what does it mean to focus on them
  2. Having an efficient system that caters to the most vulnerable in the community


To deal with it, he said that they should not focus on the problem but on the people who are in the middle of the crisis. 


How Tarun Coordinates with Social Justice-Centered Response:

Tarun shared his ways on how he coordinates with other responders especially those who focus on social justice. He stated that it is necessary to do this to allay their problems and vaccinate the highly vulnerable communities. To do this, he presented these 3 measures:

  1. Identify your vulnerable communities and their partners
  2. Understand their needs
  3. Develop high impact response


The Sex Workers Difficulties Amidst Pandemics


According to Tarun, sex workers are among the most vulnerable groups during the pandemic because they require physical interaction for their trade to function. Luckily, some communities are willing to respond and help them.

Can the Situation Grow More Worse in Marginalized Communities?


Tarun mentioned that the people who can gain the best response during this pandemic are those who have cell phones, those who can gain the attention of the masses. And these are things that the marginalized communities don't have access to. According to his observation, the people who receive assistance in hospitals are those who are in the primary and middle classes.  The inequity of society will probably worsen this crisis.

The Importance of Kindness in Times Like This


It is during these trying times that kindness is least likely to be felt. However, the most vulnerable communities need the empathy, kindness, and assistance of others. If humanity prevails in the middle of this crisis, things will be easier.


The Transgender’s Community Amidst the Crisis


Tarun mentioned the success of the transgender society even before the pandemic. However, the community has a social structure that requires them to pay a certain amount. Some of them beg and offer services to pay for their contributions. To utilize this situation, Tarun created a project in which he wants to partner with the transgender community.

The Significance of Impact Canvas


Tarun also introduced Impact Canvas as a premeditated solution that may solve complex problems. He differentiated complicated and complex problems. He also discussed how to handle these problems. One way to solve these problems is through asking different perspectives about the problems and using impact canvas. By doing this, more solutions can be gathered and it may even help in utilizing the current crisis.


What Drives Tarun in Doing What He  Does


Tarun elaborates on the things that motivate him in doing his works. He also brought to light his reasons for helping others, especially those on the peripheral edge of society. 


Tarun’s Future Aspiration for COVID Action Collab  


 Shiv talks about his plans for his platform, Covid Action Collab. He tells his visions on how this collaboration can be beneficial in facing the current and future crises.


Tarun’s Call to Action 


Tarun encourages people to join the COVID Action Collab to help vulnerable communities that are facing the pandemic. He inspires everybody to help others, especially the most vulnerable ones, in the middle of this pandemic. 




Tarun Cherukuri is the Founder CEO of Indus Action, a public policy do-tank in India. Indus Action's mission to enable vulnerable families, sustainable access to legislated rights. He is passionate about community organizing, active citizenship, and system leadership to realize social justice goals in India. He has served in multiple roles at TeachForIndia (Fellow, City Director, Advisory Board Member) during the last decade. He graduated from Harvard Kennedy School in 2013 and is a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow.


  Bright Spots Report 2020

  Status of Welfare in India during 2020 Lockdown

  Careers: If anyone is interested in engaging on the mission






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