Landecker Democracy Fellow Asha Shajahan wrote an article in the American Kahani that addresses the worsening COVID-19 situation in India. The article begins by contextualizing the situation in India, describing the B.1.617 variant and the concerns it brings, and outlining how the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories are exacerbating the crisis in the country.
Misinformation and conspiracy theories lead to confusion about social distancing, vaccinations, and masking. Additionally, many Indians live in areas where avoiding crowds are impossible or where super spreader events are endorsed by influential figures. Moreover, India’s healthcare system cannot keep up with the population’s needs and distribution of many medications remains unregulated.
The article offers several suggestions for Indian Americans who feel helpless but want to make a difference. Asha writes about navigating headlines and fact checking before spreading information. She also talks about conducting due diligence on organizations before donating or amplifying their message.
You can read the whole article here.
Asha is one of thirty Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.