Bridging the Gap: Skilling Initiatives for a Changing Workforce

Bridging the Gap: Skilling Initiatives for a Changing Workforce

In India, the need for skilling initiatives is paramount, as they hold the key to equipping individuals with the essential skills required to thrive in a rapidly changing job landscape. This blog delves into the challenges faced by Skilling programs that hinder the program effectiveness. It also highlights Samhita-CGF’s innovative approach to tackle these obstacles, emphasising on the significance of skill development in driving individual success and broader economic development in the face of rapid change.


India’s demographic dividend, characterised by a youthful population, could potentially be a significant driver of economic growth. However, to harness this effectively, India needs a skilled and job-ready workforce. Unfortunately, India’s current skilling ecosystem grapples with a multitude of challenges that hinder its capacity to prepare individuals for the demands of the modern job market. In this context, let’s delve into the challenges confronting India’s current skilling ecosystem and explore potential solutions to address them.

Young adult learning tailoring


Challenges with India’s Current Skilling Ecosystem

1. Limited  access to skilling programs  

 A significant stumbling block in India’s skilling journey is  the inadequate access to programs. Geographical barriers, lack of infrastructure, and financial constraints often stand in the way. This exclusion hampers social mobility and perpetuates income inequality. Empowering marginalised communities with readily available and affordable skilling initiatives is imperative. 

2. Need for Greater Accountability for Training Institutes or Participants 

One of the most pressing concerns within India’s skilling sector revolves around accountability. Numerous training institutes currently fail to deliver high-quality capacity-building opportunities, resulting in a lack of motivation among participants. To address this issue effectively, there is a critical need to establish stringent quality standards and implement robust monitoring mechanisms. 

3. Lack of Placement Focus and Post-Placement Support

Insufficient emphasis on placement support and post-placement assistance within current skilling initiatives leaves a critical gap in the journey towards gainful employment. To address this deficiency, skilling programs must pivot their attention towards providing essential resources like financial aid, mentorship, and networking opportunities for facilitating a seamless transition into the workforce.


A  holistic approach for empowering the workforce

India’s diverse workforce necessitates a multifaceted approach, encompassing financial aid and technology. These comprehensive strategies enable individuals to excel in an evolving work environment and navigate the challenges of the modern world, fostering sustainable progress.  

  1. One Individual, Multiple Interventions: It is crucial to provide a range of tailored interventions aligned with different stages of an individual’s career journey. These encompass skill-focused training, financial accessibility, and workplace support.
  2. Access to Finance for Skilling: Overcoming financial barriers necessitates a gradual approach to financial assistance, encompassing initiatives like returnable grants and loans with credit guarantees. This empowers individuals to invest in skill development without financial constraints.
  3. Create Public Goods for the Good of Everyone: Emphasising the creation of public goods that benefit not only individuals but also the broader skill development ecosystem is essential. Innovations such as pre-credit assessments boost confidence among ecosystem participants, supporting first-time borrowers.
  4. Skilling for Sustained Labor Force Participation: Emphasising the significance of ongoing skill enhancement, it is essential to provide comprehensive, long-term training programs that equip individuals not only for career transitions but also for rapid advancements in their professional journeys.
  5. Technology to Accelerate and Sustain Impact: Harnessing technology plays a pivotal role in expanding the reach and sustainability of these efforts. Advanced tracking systems facilitate progress monitoring, streamline onboarding, and provide ongoing support to workers throughout their career lifecycles.



Our skilling initiatives have made a significant impact, training over 52,000 individuals across 16 states through a network of 70+ centres, with a commendable 70% placement rate.


Skills for Life-Program

Acknowledging that India’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness relied on a skilled workforce, HSBC partnered with Samhita-CGF to initiate the Skills for Life Program. This dynamic initiative was designed to uplift unemployed and underskilled youth from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The program addressed the specific needs of these individuals by providing training opportunities for aspiring drivers while also equipping them with necessary skills to excel as General Duty Assistants within the health sector. 

HSBC - Samhita Skilling workshopSamhita - CGF Skilling workshop

Covering a wide spectrum of 330 participants across three states – Delhi, Haryana, and Tamil Nadu – across 7 dedicated centres, this program served as a holistic training solution for young individuals, nurturing both their personal and professional development. Beyond the in-depth training, participants also received certification and benefited from the job placement support, enriching the education of unemployed youth with invaluable practical expertise.

By empowering individuals across various profiles, providing access to finance, and leveraging technology, Samhita-CGF is making a significant impact in bridging the gap between education and employment, ultimately contributing to India’s economic growth and development.


This article was editorialised by Aakriti Singh and Ayushi Bhatnagar



Women At Work In New India

Women At Work In New India

In India, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the lives and livelihoods of working women compared to working men. To understand the extent of this impact on women workers, Samhita-Collective Good Foundation(CGF), commissioned by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in India, undertook a study that analysed the pandemic experiences of thirty women workers and entrepreneurs across professions in India. The findings and recommendations of the study are presented in this report.

The research study adopted a qualitative approach and exploratory design. Furthermore, it looked at the challenges through an intersectional lens, since the pandemic has affected women differently based on their demographic, geographical and socio-economic backgrounds. While for some women, economic and social recovery has been relatively easier and faster, given their social location, networks, skill sets, nature of their trade, access to digital and other infrastructure, most women continue to struggle to bounce back.

Prior to the primary data collection conducted on field across the ten cohorts and five states the women belonged to, certain themes were identified from a secondary review of existing literature. Thereafter, several of these themes were corroborated through a thematic analysis of the narratives presented by thirty women participants.

Four major themes emerged from this research, which are listed as below:

  • Challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Social and systemic support availed during the crisis
  • Adaptation and transition in livelihood choices during the pandemic
  • Aspirations and ambitions of women workers

This research study advocates using the learnings and evidence from the women’s narratives to inform policy and programme design. With an intended target audience consisting of private sector, development funders and social purpose organizations, this research serves to be a call for action for commitments to support women in the workforce and in business value chains. In aligning its recommendations with the ILO’s Decent Work framework and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), as a way forward, this report also proposes collaborative models such as building large multi-stakeholder and multi-cause alliances to deliver at scale, innovate and integrate core competencies of all development stakeholders, to ensure continuous and sustained support for women to enter, sustain and grow in the workforce. In this report, as a way forward, Samhita-CGF proposes the ‘SACCI model’ – stakeholder Alliance Creation for Collaborative Impact, given the problem’s magnitude, complexity, and urgency. An Alliance will bring together different development stakeholders such as the government, private sector, institutional funders, development experts and social purpose organisations to plug in the gaps in the current system and actively promote and support women in the workforce.

Samhita–CGF partners with AMHSSC to aid 50,000 women to create thriving livelihood pathways

Samhita–CGF partners with AMHSSC to aid 50,000 women to create thriving livelihood pathways

The REVIVE Alliance was set up with the mission of creating economic opportunities for vulnerable communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the Alliance’s mission, REVIVE Women@Work is to collectively drive economic recovery and resilience for low-income working women (small women-entrepreneurs and workers) through financial and digital inclusion, access to social security, skilling, and market linkages. Through these interventions, we aim to create sustainable and impactful livelihood opportunities for women to enter, sustain, and grow at their workplaces.

As part of this mission, we are happy to announce that Samhita – Collective Good Foundation (Samhita – CGF) has partnered with Apparel Made-Ups and Home Furnishings Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC) to complement the Government of India’s skilling mandate and augment the journey of 50,000 women to grow beyond gainful employment and create thriving livelihood pathways.

“Economically empowered women can be powerful catalysts for change. They tend to invest more of their income into the well-being of their families, have greater control over their reproductive health, and can significantly drive economic growth. Samhita’s partnership with AMHSSC aims to serve as a model to increase meaningful participation of women in the workforce and enhance their journey through skill building, adoption of positive health practices, and eventually become an agent of change in her community”

Priya Naik, Founder & CEO, Samhita Social Ventures.

Through this partnership, Samhita – CGF will enable livelihood linkages of 50,000 women to manufacturing units of large corporate houses, and support AMHSSC in offering customised and relevant services across 4 key areas critical to thrive in the workforce:

  • Worker health & well-being education and services
  • Awareness and Protection from Violence and harassment in the workplace
  • Economic Empowerment and Professional development
  • Encouraging Entrepreneurship

 “In today’s world, one not only needs to be skilled in a Particular sector but must also be aware of his/her rights, especially for women to know their gender related rights. AMHSSC along with CGF is committed to provide such insights to the concerned stake holders, and support their journey into meaningful employment opportunities”

Dr Roopak Vasishtha, CEO, AMHSSC

Through Revive Women@Work, we envisage a better normal where more women are gainfully employed and acquire the necessary skills to take control of their own lives.

A coalition to create a Better Normal for India’s Working Women and Entrepreneurs

A coalition to create a Better Normal for India’s Working Women and Entrepreneurs

Women@Work is a coalition — of businesses, philanthropies, social organisations and other stakeholders — to drive economic recovery and resilience of low-income women workers and micro entrepreneurs, and enable them to grow and thrive. The goals of Women@Work are aligned to Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance, a $15 million blended finance platform, supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), Omidyar Network India, British High Commission New Delhi and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Alliance is dedicated to the revival, resilience and growth of India’s informal economy. It is also a part of the U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Enabling the Recovery, Resilience and Growth of Women Workers and Micro Entrepreneurs

By bridging the gender gap in the workforce and providing more income opportunities for women, India’s GDP can be increased by a whopping $2.9 trillion. There is ample evidence to prove that enabling the growth and productivity of women has a multiplier effect on the socio-economic outcomes of families, communities and economies. We have also witnessed the same through our work over the years.

The challenges to achieving this increase in female labour force participation are immense, especially due to the limitations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the gains have the potential to push India to the next stage of growth. 

This mission cannot be achieved by any one company or government or stakeholder group. REVIVE Women@Work is a call-to-action for a joint effort to spur the Recovery, Resilience and Growth of Women Workers and Micro Entrepreneurs.

How are we going to create a better normal for working women and microentrepreneurs?

With Women@Work, companies, foundations, social organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, through business and CSR channels, will:

To impact India’s women by facilitating their:

Range of Interventions

The Women@Work coalition will leverage technology to maximise opportunities for women at two levels:

  1. Creating a tracking system that will provide evidence on the value of the interventions for the beneficiary. This will enable better decision-making and evidence-backed program design.
  2. Creating a digital profile of the woman, to understand the social products and services required to create a continuum of support. This will enable us to maximise the support available through her life cycle.

Alignment with the REVIVE Alliance and U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment

We launched REVIVE to create a pathway to prosperity for the restoration of worker and micro entrepreneur livelihoods. Aspects of Women@Work are supported by the USAID-funded REVIVE Alliance, which launched in October 2020 to focus on economic recovery, predominantly for women and youth.

Women@Work is also a part of the U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment, a public-private partnership between USAID, the U.S Department of State, USISPF, and George Washington University, launched by USAID Administrator Samantha Power in September 2021.

Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance Among 34 Initiatives Worldwide to Receive Support from Impact Challenge

Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance Among 34 Initiatives Worldwide to Receive Support from Impact Challenge

Samhita – CGF has been named one of 34 selected organizations to receive funds from the Impact Challenge for Women and Girls.

The funding will strengthen the efforts Samhita-CGF launched in October 2020 via the REVIVE Alliance, one of the largest private sector and philanthropy-led alliances in India to help facilitate a long-term recovery of the informal sector, with a focus on women, youth, and other marginalized populations, whose livelihoods are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samhita-CGF is one of 9 Asia-Pacific projects selected for this funding cohort out of nearly 8,000 applications globally. In addition to funding, Samhita-CGF will participate in a four-month accelerator program led by Google’s Accelerator and Women Techmakers communities and Impact Challenge partner Vital Voices to move projects forward.

Tracing the trajectory of COVID-hit digital India

Tracing the trajectory of COVID-hit digital India

Ever since COVID-19 hit India, the disease brought an onslaught of unimagined and unprecedented circumstances. Governments scrambled to impose lockdowns on short notice to control the spread of the disease and India was no stranger to adopting this global approach to control the infections. However, this strategy came with a set of complex implications that bore an impact on health, livelihoods, education and life as we “normally” knew it. 

The COVID-19 crisis has evidently affected livelihoods and brought income shocks to the working classes. This shock has been accompanied by an unanticipated shift to the digital mode and accelerated digitization in the country. To understand the impact of COVID-19 on India’s digital appetite, KPMG conducted a survey and illustrated its findings as following:

What is the impact of COVID-19 on the usage of digital payments?

As the survey demonstrates, 81% of the respondents claimed a higher usage of digital payments as compared to cash in 2020. Whereas none of the respondents reported a higher usage of cash over digital payments. 

The restrictions that were brought about as a result of COVID-19 not only hampered mobility, but also fostered a sense of fear among the common public. While white-collar workers were able to fall back on business-enabling tech platforms that they were already using, the livelihood of blue-collar workers and small business owners who carry out much of their activities manually and through face-to-face interactions had come to a complete standstill. 

The growing need to keep livelihoods going paved the way for the adoption of digital gadgets, catapulting digital payment modes and online transactions. Today, digital payment platforms such as G-pay, Phone-pe and Paytm are available not only at high-end shops but have also been adopted by small businesses such as grocery stores, paan stalls and even auto-rickshaws. 

Among the recipients we work with, digital mediums have become a part of everyday life for almost everyone — across farmers, beautypreneurs, street vendors and entrepreneurs with disabilities, the access to smartphones rate stands at 92-100%

In the suburbs of Ahmedabad, REVIVE beauty-preneurs (women running their own beauty enterprises), were also excited to discuss their recently acquired knowledge about digital payment options. Rani, one of our beauty-preneurs, had a particularly interesting story to share: In the excitement of stepping outside her house in the week after a long lockdown, Rani ran to her local supplier and picked up a heavy stock of everything-it-takes to reopen her salon. As she moved towards the cash counter, her enthusiasm waned, as she realised she had left her wallet at home. The next best thing she could do was try remembering her debit card details. No luck. She was relieved when the shopkeeper asked, “Do you have a mobile? Here’s my UPI (United Payments Interface) code.” Rani walked out of the store in amazement at the ease of making payments. “I didn’t even know this was possible, now I ask about UPI everywhere I go,” said Rani.

Additionally, small businesses have started utilising social media as a cheap and targeted means of advertising for their customers in the absence of in-person interactions. In fact, from our own surveys, we found that beauty-preneurs were finding new ways to do business from home during the pandemic. They had started using digital media to spread awareness about their own business and to upskill themselves on current make-up trends. 

Asha, one such beauty-prenuer, talked about how she uses Instagram actively to market her parlour to ladies in and around her village. She was amazed at how easily and economically the platform allows her to attract customers by using hashtags and images. For these women, the freedom to market and attract customers on Instagram has given them the kind of outreach that would have been impossible without spending money.

QR Codes for payments apps displayed at a grocery store in Katni, Madhya
Pradesh in India.

Beyond the livelihood discourse, the availability of banking services over digital platforms has reduced the need to visit banks in real-time and the option to pay bills online has also brought about ease of payments. On the one hand, while these restrictions resulted in unimaginable distress for the socio-economically vulnerable, it also forced them to adopt digital technology to navigate day-to-day activities. 

This shift is illustrative of the evolution of digital technologies beyond their conventional use for just communication in Indian society. For example, Uma and Jitubhai from our farmer cohort in Gujarat — post lockdown in 2020 — were hesitant to leave their farm to go to crowded towns for business transactions, for fear of contracting the virus. On a typical day, Uma travelled 100 kilometres to reach the nearest bank to make deposits; Jitubhai would spend an entire day at the electricity office, waiting in line to complete the paperwork for his bills. The pandemic forced them to find new ways to accomplish these tasks and led them to experiment with UPI digital banking, where basic banking services could be conducted at any location, with the tap of a finger. Uma now requests money from sellers for her farm produce through an online payment linked to her bank account and Jitubhai found a way to digitally pay all his bills. For both Uma and Jitubhai, the year forced them to adopt new ways of managing their daily activities and in turn, has resulted in saving time as well as ensuring safety for them and their families by limiting human contact. 

In addition to convenience, many beauty-preneurs report that the notion of not having to physically carry around cash provides psychological comfort and safety. Meena, for example, explained that women in her neighbourhood don’t like walking around with cash because they fear they might get robbed. For them, knowing that their cash is accessible in their digital bank account, while not being at risk of theft is a new concept that increases their trust in digital banking. 

Many from socio-economically vulnerable communities have displayed astounding resilience in reclaiming their lives and livelihoods during the Covid-19 crisis. However, the adoption of the digital mode has not been uniform in and around the country and there continues to be apprehension towards digital technologies. As the KPMG survey demonstrated, while 8% of the respondents claimed that they were comfortable with exclusively using digital methods of payment, a slightly larger percentage (11%) reported that they would prefer to use cash exclusively over digital modes of payment. The latter statistic is illustrative of the lack of accessibility to digital mediums for all. The overwhelming critique of online education as an exclusive space and the inaccessibility of digital vaccine registration for some, demonstrates that a digital divide still exists in India. Not only is there lack of access to digital gadgets, but also limited access to the internet, which is a necessity for most Indians today. 

While accessibility presents a huge issue, lack of trust in digital technologies has also impacted digital attitudes in India. This stems from a lack of knowledge about how digital technologies work and/or from concerns over privacy of one’s personal and financial information. Therefore, we are witnessing a paradoxical case of accelerating digitization with a digital divide that can only be bridged by improving accessibility, transparency and by raising awareness.

It cannot be denied however, that in a lot of ways, the very understanding of technology has catalytically advanced during the pandemic for many Indians — from being a mobile device to an internet portal, to a marketing outlet, to a channel for teaching and banking. It has contributed to efficiency,  ease of doing business and the provided the unique opportunity to expand one’s skills for both livelihood and leisure enhancement.

While urgent and pressing issues of financial literacy and digital privacy remain, Leelabai, a member of our farmer cohort, gives us hope about the potential of India’s digital transformation: “Internet penetration will be everything for the women in my village. Especially those who were always constrained by their domestic duties. I can’t wait to see those women have the same freedom and access to the world as their husbands.”

REVIVE Alliance is a blended finance platform, created by Samhita-CGF, in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), Omidyar Network India, British High Commission New Delhi and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In collaboration with companies, foundations and social organisations, REVIVE identifies deserving informal sector workers and micro-entrepreneurs who have been affected by the pandemic, and provides holistic support to aid their recovery, build their resilience and invest in their long-term growth. The stories in this article have been borrowed from our qualitative interviews with recipients from different cohorts to present on-ground insights on the adoption of digital technologies in their communities. 

Why We Need To Talk About Nano-Entrepreneurs In India

Why We Need To Talk About Nano-Entrepreneurs In India

Nano entrepreneurs are people who typically run small retail or kirana shops or earn a livelihood as street vendors. They usually have not had the benefit of a college education, which prevents them from attaining formal means of employment and many shoulder debt to survive, making it even more dire for those who have faced a health or a financial crisis during the pandemic.

The challenges faced by nano entrepreneurs are different than their medium or small scale counterparts. With the line blurred between personal and business income, they are often just a nudge away from being pushed into poverty.

Samhita-CGF’s REVIVE Alliance realised the significant role & enormous potential of nano entrepreneurs in reviving India’s post-pandemic economy and since have been working with our partners to create better opportunities these cohorts.

Read the full article by our partner Michael & Susan Dell Foundation on why we need to talk about nano entrepreneurs.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power launches Women@Work

USAID Administrator Samantha Power launches Women@Work

USAID Administrator Samantha Power, during the launch event of the U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment, announced the Alliance’s first initiative: Women@Work.

As a member of the US-India Alliance, Samhita-CGF will develop a coalition of businesses, philanthropies, and other stakeholders to drive the economic recovery and resilience of low-income women workers and small entrepreneurs, and enable them to grow and thrive.

Women@Work is an initiative by the USAID-funded REVIVE Alliance, one of the largest private sector and philanthropy-led alliances in India, which is helping to facilitate a long-term recovery of the informal sector workers whose livelihoods are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vinati Organics and Samhita-CGF to Empower 5,380 Women in Maharashtra

Vinati Organics and Samhita-CGF to Empower 5,380 Women in Maharashtra

As per the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, the country has now slipped 28 places to the 140th position in the index. The pandemic has further impacted livelihoods, putting 4 out of every 10 women out of the workforce. HERS is a step towards bridging this gender gap and will aim to empower 5,380 women across Maharashtra.

Reviving India’s Informal Economy

Reviving India’s Informal Economy

Just as India was recovering from the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second and more vicious wave pushed many to the brink of livelihood loss. As news of the health crisis takes precedence, the economic ravages of the pandemic and its impact on livelihoods has been less documented and discussed. The devastating effects of the pandemic have had compounding negative effects on women’s progress, access and inclusion of vulnerable communities, social security of informal workers, etc. 

As we continue to see the devastating effects of the second surge, we have signs of hope with vaccine efforts increasing and international collaborations, with the Indian diaspora at the forefront, contributing efforts to address the gaps this crisis has revealed.

The REVIVE Alliance, the brainchild of Samhita, in partnership with USAID, MSDF, Omidyar Network India, UNDP and British High Commission, New Delhi, is a financial instrument to aid those who are excluded from banks and other formal lending institutions. The intervention is designed to protect those who are most severely affected by the pandemic, so that they can come back from the crisis stronger and in a way that enables them to be more integrated in the formal economy. In essence, the goal is to build back a better normal.

In this important and powerful conversation between Priya Naik, CEO and Founder, Samhita Social Ventures; Rahil Rangwala, Director of India Programs, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; Alison Eskesen, Vice President, Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth; and Dr. Amita Vyas, Non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre, moderated by Imrana Khera, Partnership Advisor, USAID India and hosted by The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre, the panelists discusses why it is important to take a comprehensive approach to recovery from COVID-19, keeping in mind the importance of livelihoods, healthcare and educational needs of vulnerable communities. 

Watch the whole conversation here:

Insights from the panelists:

Director of India Programs, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

India typically has an unemployment rate hovering around 5%. When we experienced the first wave in 2020, our unemployment rate peaked at 23%, because India went into one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. It devastated India’s 80% informal economy, with so many jobs and livelihoods lost. We recovered by the end of 2020; we were down to a 7% unemployment rate. In May 2021, during the second wave, we were back to 12%. In a recent CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) survey, 97% of households in India have reported decline in household income. In the second wave, India has lost 10 million jobs.

CEO and Founder, Samhita Social Ventures

REVIVE was set up with a modest ambition to aid blue collar workers who were unimaginably affected by the pandemic. We started with a straightforward direct cash transfer to 33,000 identified individuals. We soon realised that the path towards recovery, resilience and growth for different people — a gig worker, a woman sanitation worker or a farmer — all looked very different. With MSDF support, we set up a returnable grant instrument. It was a no-risk, flexible and safe mechanism to get people back on their feet, as they could use the money however they wanted and return it whenever they were able. We wanted to ensure dignity in how we were structuring the mechanism — these were not people who needed our charity. They are hardworking individuals with full-time jobs and it’s a pandemic that has devastated their livelihoods. In the last year, we’ve learnt that when you give people money not just to meet their immediate needs, but also their future aspirations, they use it wisely and pay it back. We now see between 93-100% repayment of our returnable grants.

Vice President, Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth

Existing gaps have been exacerbated by the economic long tail of COVID-19. India lagged behind in women’s labour force participation even before this crisis. The effect of COVID-19 has really pushed us behind further. So we need to think about empowerment in a more holistic way: how do you work with women to grow their business acumen and skills? Also, how do you work with them to engage their families and have conversations to create a more supportive ecosystem at home? How do you reach out to these families and communities to start shifting mindsets? We need to create more conducive environments where women can succeed and realise their full economic potential. 

Non-resident Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council’s South Asia Centre

We need to take a comprehensive approach to livelihood recovery during this pandemic — we have to address health needs, and also educational needs. We’ve learnt that in West Africa, after the Ebola epidemic, adolescent girls did not go back to school. They were married off. We are now going into a second academic year of schools being shut down and that can have devastating effects on girls’ education. India has made great strides in girls’ education in the last decade, at the secondary level and also in higher education. We can’t let those gains diminish.