Sarada Muraleedharan speaks about the critical role of local self-governments in Kerala as part of the state’s robust response to COVID-19. She speaks about how Kerala’s history of decentralisation and participatory planning helped the Government implement effective contact tracing, quarantines and also provide food to millions who had lost their jobs. She elaborates on the role of Kudumbashree, a network of women’s groups, in providing thousands of volunteers in the relief effort.

Sarada Muraleedharan is an officer with the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and is currently Principal Secretary for Local Self Government with the Government of Kerala.

This video is excerpted from the webinar ‘ Kerala’s COVID-19 Response: Integrating Labour, Gender and Decentralization’, broadcast on 29 May 2020, organised by ActionAid, Focus on the Global South, Newsclick and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung-South Asia. The resource persons included K T Suresh, Benny Kuruvilla, Professor Mridul Eapen and Sarada Murleedharan (IAS).