This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Anushree Ghosh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

New Habits, New Hobbies But Old Class Divisions: What The Post-Lockdown World Will Look Like

More from Anushree Ghosh

This post is a part of YKA’s dedicated coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak and aims to present factual, reliable information. Read more.

‘Lockdown’ — this word refers to a combination of two words – loc + doun, derived from the Old and Middle English respectively. While it has been in use since the nineteenth century, the recent coronavirus pandemic made it globally famous. People who had never even heard it before now blabber about the scratches and wounds it has caused in their lives.

The lockdown has weakened the economic system, made us kneel to the privileges we had taken for granted and left us in our cells – called homes – where we are told to create our small world, just like in the 2019 film, The Room (Dir: Christian Volckman), in which a child is made to believe that nothing else exists other than what he can see and observe inside the room.

Separated from other human beings, our life under lockdown 2020 was already tough, and the resurgence of the new mutants is making it tougher every day. People were unprepared to stay inside, wear protective gears every time they go out and not feel the magical human touch, the gesture of warmth and kindness in the form of hugs.

In India, as a developing economy, the virus had not only tasted human flesh, but desires and hopes as well. Many lost their only source of livelihood, daily wagers were left stranded, with no means to gather resources for food, and many succumbed to extreme actions as they were unable to cope up with the new abnormal.

Start-ups and small businesses have been hit badly. Being forced to pay office rent and salaries for months without making any profit, many founders and owners were left with no choice but to shut their business down. Frontline workers – doctors, nurses and the other hospital staff – are suffering inch by inch. Many of them got infected while treating other people, their family members too caught the infection, some made it through, while some gave up against the weak immune system or lack of proper treatment in time.

After several months of the lockdown, as the scientific community came out with the vaccines, we finally had some hope that the pandemic would soon subside. The number of cases began to decrease. All of us thought that life would go back to how it was before March 2020. The authorities became careless – religious gatherings and election rallies were allowed. Locked down for several days, all of us started attending parties and going out on vacations. Instagram was filled with influencers visiting Maldives. And, just when we thought the momentum was back, we were hit hard by the second wave of coronavirus.

This time, the resurrected virus was way powerful, we couldn’t anticipate that it would attack the lungs, inflate it to the point that we would be wandering everywhere, gasping for the most essential element needed to survive – oxygen. As I write this article, there are 2.27 crore cases of coronavirus in India, glimpses of the helplessness for oxygen and life-saving drugs can be felt every time I open any of my social media accounts.

So, although the whole situation is gloomy and dark, there is only one thing we can hold on to, and that is ‘hope’.

India lockdown

Improvement In The Ongoing Pandemic Crisis

Scientists and experts are hopeful that vaccines, life-saving drugs and proper pandemic behaviour will minimise the damage and help us put an end to the pandemic. Additionally, there have been instances in which herd immunity has been reached, for instance, in the case of eradication of smallpox. With all the helping hands extended by different nations, India will be in a better position to give a powerful fight.

Although it seems a difficult route, considering the lack of vaccines in the country and the collapsing health system, hope is the only thing that will help us go through the day and then the coming day and so on, until we reach a point where we don’t have to cover our faces under the open sky with bright sunshine or glittering stars.

Life After Lockdown

With shining hopes in our eyes, when we try to visualise life on the other side of lockdown, we hope for a brighter future. Humans are creatures of habit and we foresee a life full of new habits. For instance, a lot of people took up cycling amidst the lockdown. Many also retorted to other fitness activities, and hence, fitness bands, running shoes and healthy snack witnessed a surge in sales.

This phenomenon of getting accustomed to new habits is known as the ‘fresh-start effect’. This new-found love to call and check on our parents, friends and relative will hopefully continue even after the lockdown ends for good. Children who were used to living by themselves and never bothered by their parents for day-to-day report would find interference from their parents welcoming, similar to what is happening currently during the lockdown. This will hopefully continue even when ‘normal’ school days are back.

Most of the employees are likely to stress on work-from-home environment, would mean reduced traveling time and expense, and working from the comfort of their homes, barring those who would not find solace at home. Recreational activities such as binge-watching, gardening and cooking will likely continue even after the lockdown is over.

Unfortunately, not everything can be seen in a brighter context. With the growing disparity, the widening class division will only worsen the situation. With lack of concentration on online videos and no practical exams, education for many, especially those with no electronic gadgets or from economically backward students, will take a back seat.

It might take a lot of effort and time to bring students at par with the recommended level of learning for their age. Likewise, newer businesses that need the physical presence of employees will struggle to survive. Places that were once thriving with the presence of hitchhikers and travellers would take years to reach the point where parties, bonfire and loud music can become a part of the new life.

The coming days are unnerving, unpredictable and hard to comprehend. The terror of not knowing the future is looming all over and spreading fear. However, as stated twice in this article, we just want to repeat it one last time – hope is the only thing that will help us float through these turbulent times.

You must be to comment.

More from Anushree Ghosh

Similar Posts

By Accountability Initiative

By India Development Review (IDR)

By Nupur Pattanaik

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below