Covid-19 has disrupted almost every sector. The underprivileged children being one of the most vulnerable, are badly affected. It is not only a matter of their futures but also of the nation’s future. I will provide a brief overview of the impact of Covid-19 on the children.
Due to the cheaper marriages during the pandemic with fewer members, people are resorting to child marriage to ease their burden. Also, since many poverty-stricken families are going through economic difficulties, they get their daughters married without their consent.
I recently witnessed a situation wherein I asked my domestic worker about her daughter’s educational progress during the pandemic. She replied with a laugh, “How would she benefit from studies? I taught her to cook and got her married.” I was speechless and disheartened. Unfortunately, this is the situation in our country right now. This is against the law and humanity.
A lot of children are a victim of frequent violence. Families are opting for a negative coping mechanism by beating their children or making them work to expand their sources of income.
More than 94% of children have said that the economic crisis at home and family pressure had pushed them into work. Most of their parents had lost their jobs or earned meagre wages during the pandemic. A small percentage of children said that they started to work in order to buy smartphones. “These children are made to work 14-16 hours a day, and if they refuse to work, they are beaten. One beating sends the message down the group, which suits the owner,” said Dhananjay Tingal, executive
director of Bachpan Bachao Andolan
Around 6 million children left schools since the pandemic hit, with girls being the most affected. Many parents cannot afford the gadgets required for online schools, and eventually, children were forced to drop out of school and don’t have enough knowledge about technology.
Some parents affected by economic crises prefer to send their children to earn money. Many children have a lack of accessibility, and only 1 out of 4 children have the devices. The digital divide is real! Also, many parents don’t prefer to send their children back to school.
In my belief, we must contribute by doing whatever little we can: maybe by lending extra devices to the poor for their education, giving advance money, stopping the wrongdoings and spreading awareness. Donations and voluntary work can help to a large extent to remedy the problems of these children. Therefore, I request all my readers to do their part to save the helpless children.