Care Systems for Community-Dwelling Elderly Anglo-Indians: Evidence from Two Waves of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Calcutta


  • Brian Gomes
  • Jillet Sarah Sam


This article traces how diverse networked systems of care were employed to address the needs of community-dwelling Anglo-Indian elderly (i.e. those not residing in institutional care homes) during the Covid-19 crisis in Calcutta. The article draws on ethnographic interviews and observations from March 2020 to May 2021. The article reports three significant findings. First, care convoys and collectives, involving both kin and non-kin, were instrumental in elder care. Second, these networked arrangements, in which the elderly themselves are active participants, are strongly shaped by patterns of kinship and residence among Anglo-Indians in the city. However, these patterns were also modified to navigate the pandemic. Third, voluntary organizations at the church, neighbourhood and community level also contributed to elder care during the Covid-19 pandemic.