On the occasion of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, EduTennis spoke to Deepika Allana, who works on anti-human trafficking policies and collaborations on rebuilding after the pandemic. Here's the interview.
EduTennis: What is the role of society's support in rebuilding efforts after the pandemic?
As we have seen, the pandemic had the biggest impact on those most vulnerable in our society, whose survival was put at great risk. I believe the responsibility to do something useful in the world by helping others less fortunate is directly proportional to privilege. The more one has, the more responsibility one has to try to create a more equitable world.
We must recognise how interconnected we are. Even if you don’t believe this on a spiritual level, this is also the case in just the reality of how our society runs. When the migrant workers, those that do the invisible and hard work of keeping our society running, left in droves to go back to their villages, suddenly we realised how much we need them for our own comfort and survival. They are the ones keeping the roads clean, taking our garbage out, transporting the goods we consume, and many other tasks that most of us don't think about.
The role of society in rebuilding is to give, give, and give - money, time, effort, empathy and love to those that were the most severely impacted by the dramatic changes that took place during the pandemic.
EduTennis: What can ordinary people do?
Ordinary people can stop being wrapped up in only their own lives and pause to put themselves in the shoes of others and try to see things from others’ viewpoint. When we do this, we practice empathy, gain perspective and become less judgemental. Once we become more empathetic and less self-centred, a desire to do good and be better will automatically follow. If all people practiced this successfully, I believe there would be a lot more peace and love, and a lot less suffering.
EduTennis: What is your vision for a better world?
A world in which:
all people have access to their most basic necessities and human rights, including being free from fear of harm;
people minding their own business and letting others believe whatever they want, practice whatever religion they want, love whoever they want and do whatever they want, as long as it isn’t negatively impacting others and the world we share;
people respect themselves, their communities and the planet that gives us what we need to thrive;
women, girls, marginalised populations and other vulnerable people are not being dominated and restricted because of egos, racism, classism and power dynamics;
there is no slavery and children aren’t robbed of their childhoods because of their family’s poverty;
women are not being told what to do with their bodies and have access to and are empowered to plan their family as they choose; and
those who are wronged have equal access to justice.