Ameem Lutfi

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Lahore U., of Management Sciences

Grant number

Gr. ERG-36

Approve Date

February 2, 2023

Project Title

Lutfi, Ameem (Lahore U., of Management Sciences) "Economies of Long Covid: Managing Household and School Precarity in Lahore, Pakistan"

In urban Pakistan, a long-term consequence of the Covid-19 lockdowns has been the abrupt, permanent closure of schools in low-income areas due to a dramatic decline in enrollments since the resumption of schools following the prolonged closure. This project contends that the economic pressures schools face are directly linked to households rethinking budgets and reimagining their children’s futures amidst a covid-induced economic downturn and prolonged uncertainty. Through what kinds of logic and moral calculations are the urban poor making the difficult choice of not spending on educational costs? How is this decision reshaping aspirations of social mobility, and what implications does it have for the country’s already threadbare educational infrastructure? “Economies of Long Covid” looks to answer these questions through innovative, collaborative methods offering research partners auto-ethnographic control and community oversight. Focusing on Lahore’s working-class neighborhood of Chungi, where the project collaborators have long established social connections and political commitments, the project mobilizes decolonial and reparative methodologies of engagement and repair, seeking material redress for the communities who partner in our research.