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Promoting Local Sustainability and Self Reliance - Strategy for Post Pandemic Socio-Economic Development

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, Small Scale Industries (SSI) and other local production units have emerged as a productive and energetic sector. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, "The soul of India lives in its village",, the sector provided enormous employment opportunities and industrialisation of backward and rural areas. Due to the financial crisis, the launching of LPG policy, i.e., liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, has metamorphosed India as a whole. Globalisation played a significant role in the transmogrifying Indian economy and touched all the spheres such as agricultural, industrial, technological, educational, health, and others. It also had a significant impact on local production units and had diminished even though it was in sustainable development goals. India is now facing upheaval like the rest of the world does. Since the present pandemic was an unforeseen outbreak, the lack of effective preparedness made various segments such as individuals, families and communities to suffer socially, psychologically and economically. COVID-19 spread, a classic example of system theory, resulted in a prolonged lockdown, causing global economic activities to a standstill. The proximity of local production units could provide the essentials to all strata, including the grass-root level. The country had opted for a labour incentive pattern of industrialisation, starting from similar goods and gradually moving to intermediate and capital goods. Even though they had implemented specific policies and packages, they always remained tokenistic. The paper does a reflective analysis of the correlation between pandemic influenza, inaccessibility/unavailability of essentials, and SSI/MSME sectors and other units by reviewing systematically the official/ government/ policy documents, news reports and extant works of literature. The paper also suggests how to promote local sustainability during the post-pandemic period of social distancing in Kerala and propose a community development model. Keywords: Local sustainability, Post-pandemic period, Globalisation, Community development model, MSME.

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