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Charcha 2020: Informal Workers and the City


As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic wipes away years of development in weeks, the ability to reinvent ourselves and rebuild has become more critical than ever. WRI India and Omidyar Network India will be hosting sessions on Informal Workers and the City on the Charcha 2020 platform. While the sessions will explore what it takes to move India and its unsung workforce forward, WRI India will also participate in urban-focused panel discussions to explore how cities can build back better.


#Charcha2020 convened by The/Nudge Foundation is a platform that brings together thinkers, researchers, practitioners, enablers, policymakers, communicators, philanthropists and community leaders to address the toughest challenges in a post-COVID-19 world. To attend visit or click on the Zoom link of the respective session at the stated time.

Thursday May 14 – 04:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Session 1:
Panel Discussion: Voices from the Community (04:00 PM - 04:40 PM)

Shashank Rao, Union Leader Auto Rickshaw Union, Street Vendor Union, Mumbai in conversation with Madhav Pai, Executive Director WRI India

Session 2:
Book Talk: Book Talk - Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai (05:00 PM - 05:30 PM)

Lisa Björkman – Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai (20 Mins+ 10 Mins Q&A)

Session 3:
Numbers Speak (05:30 PM - 06:00 PM)

Dr. Amitabh Kundu, Economist, Ex JNU Professor, Migrant Workers – How many are there, where are their homes? (15 Mins + 15 Mins Q&A)

Friday May 15 – 10:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Session 4:
Panel Discussion (10:45 AM -11:30 AM)
Prepared Communities for Resilient Futures
Panel discussion hosted by Omidiyar Network India and WRI India.
Presentation and moderation: Lubaina Rangwala, Senior Manager, Sustainable Cities

  • Dr. Vikas Desai, UHCRC
  • Ms. Namrata Kapoor, IIHS
  • Ms. Nalini Shekar, Harisu Dala
  • Mr. Sitaram Shelar, Center for Promoting Democracy

Session 5:
Improving Affordable Urban Housing: Community Needs and State Response
Format: Panel Discussion (Friday, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM)
Exploring the linkages between shelter, livelihoods, the informal economy and the need for down top approaches.
Moderator: Bharath Visweswariah, Director Investments, Omidyar Network India
Introductory presentation: Rejeet Mathews, WRI India

  • Prof. Amita Bhide, TISS
  • Mr. Shubagato Dasgupta, Center for Policy Research
  • Mr. Jagjeevan Neelakandapillai, Senior Consultant, Kudumbashree
  • Mr. Viraj Tyagi, eGovernments Foundation (TBC)

Session 6:
Panel Discussion: Identity and Service Delivery (12:45 PM - 01:30 PM)
Moderator: Shilpa Kumar, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network India

  • Rajiv Khandelwal, Ajeevika Bureau
  • Sandeep Sachdeva, Safe in India
  • Aniket Doegar, Haqdarshak
  • Sarayu Natarajan, Aapti Institute

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