Economic setbacks for families led to one in 10 children saying they would not return to school or do not know whether they would return to school once the institutions reopen.(HT Photo)
Economic setbacks for families led to one in 10 children saying they would not return to school or do not know whether they would return to school once the institutions reopen.(HT Photo)

Covid has left students with uncertain future

Among migrants, 91% of households reported loss of income and 60% households reported they had no money to pay for food, which led to insecurity and domestic violence.
By Sanchita Sharma | Hindustan Times, New Delhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2020 04:57 AM IST

Rising vaccinationalism, industry wars, and the use of unpublished interim data to declare vaccine successes are fuelling uncertainty about the safety, efficacy and affordability of potential coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines on which the world has pinned its collective hope to reboot businesses, education and travel sooner than later.

Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s visit to three Covid-19 vaccine production centres in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune will help reassure people that more than one vaccine will be available in India by early next year. “Vaccine development is in the final stage but we must not lower our guard… Our priority is to save every life. Once we have the vaccines, we will ensure they are delivered to everyone,” said Prime Minister Modi.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia last week said that schools in the Capital are unlikely to open until there is a vaccine. Schools and colleges countrywide have been shut since March because of the pandemic, which has led to irrevocable loss of study time for children, more so for those with no or limited access to digital learning tools.

Four in every five children reported facing obstacles to learning, and three in four said they were stressed because of an uncertain future, ambiguity over going back to school, and loss of family livelihoods, according to a report by Save the Children titled A Generation at Stake: Protecting India’s Children from the impact of Covid-19, released on Friday.

The report polled parents and children from 46 countries including India, where 1,598 parents and 989 children between ages 11 and 17 years from 11 states and two Union territories (Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir) were surveyed to identify their needs to help fill the gaps. The states included Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Telangana.

Among migrants, 91% of households reported loss of income and 60% households reported they had no money to pay for food, which led to insecurity and domestic violence. Around 11% of children in the general group and 17% children in the migrants’ group reported violence at home during the pandemic.

Economic setbacks for families led to one in 10 children saying they would not return to school or do not know whether they would return to school once the institutions reopen.

“Our findings show that the economic shocks endured during the pandemic have led to a rise in violence against both adults and children, increase in domestic chores and caring duties, particularly for girls, and reduced mental health and well-being. The most vulnerable children are becoming the biggest victims of its social and economic impacts,” said Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Save the Children.

The report recommends providing psycho-social support to vulnerable children to help them catch up with learning levels and ensure continuity of education for all after schools reopen. Protection programmes, including schemes announced during the pandemic, need to be made accessible to eligible families and children, with special focus on migrant families irrespective of their native place or place of work, the report said.

The developmental impact of school closure on children cannot also be ignored. “Beyond academics, schools provide a space for a child’s social and mental development. Schools are where we meet peers, make friends, learn to form relationships, negotiate, enjoy, support, compromise, find ourselves. Social interactions are essential for social and emotional development, this is where we form a large part of our value system. We must consider schooling holistically, in the context of academics and the development of life skills. Online education has addressed the academics part of it, but it’s the peer interface aspect where we are still struggling. This will continue till students come back to school,” said Dr Samir Parikh, director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare.

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Mr Nadeem is an exuberant man, his enthusiasm is infectious—he laughs a lot, even behind his black handkerchief-mask, and it’s a stage performance each time he serves up a cream roll.(Mayank Austen Soofi)
Mr Nadeem is an exuberant man, his enthusiasm is infectious—he laughs a lot, even behind his black handkerchief-mask, and it’s a stage performance each time he serves up a cream roll.(Mayank Austen Soofi)

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Farmers and Delhi Police personnel clash during the tractor march from Tikri border, at Nangloi Crossing, in New Delhi(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Farmers and Delhi Police personnel clash during the tractor march from Tikri border, at Nangloi Crossing, in New Delhi(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

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A Nihang Sikh aboard a horse inside Red Fort on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

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A Delhi metro train in transit amid dense fog and cold wether near Yamuna River Bank, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
A Delhi metro train in transit amid dense fog and cold wether near Yamuna River Bank, in New Delhi. (Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)

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Farmers shower flower petals on fellow protesters at Singhu border. (PTI)
Farmers shower flower petals on fellow protesters at Singhu border. (PTI)

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Protesting farmers remove the barricades after breaching the routes during their tractor rally at Ghazipur border, in New Delhi(ANI Photo)
Protesting farmers remove the barricades after breaching the routes during their tractor rally at Ghazipur border, in New Delhi(ANI Photo)

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Farmers vandalise a Police vehicle following clashes with Delhi Police during the tractor march from Tikri border, at Nangloi Crossing, in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Farmers vandalise a Police vehicle following clashes with Delhi Police during the tractor march from Tikri border, at Nangloi Crossing, in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

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UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2021 04:40 AM IST
  • Sporadic clashes continued between till late in the evening, even as the vast majority of the protestors continued their parade without incidence.
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Google, through its counsel, had submitted that since no relief was claimed or made-out against it, it should not be made a party in the matter.(Reuters)
Google, through its counsel, had submitted that since no relief was claimed or made-out against it, it should not be made a party in the matter.(Reuters)

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While protesters alleged that the deceased lost control of the tractor after a tear gas shell hit him, police said the incident happened when the driver hit the barricade.(Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
While protesters alleged that the deceased lost control of the tractor after a tear gas shell hit him, police said the incident happened when the driver hit the barricade.(Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

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  • The scenes of farmers charging at police with their tractors were caught on camera.
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SKM, an umbrella collective of over 40 farmer groups, called off the tractor parade on Tuesday evening.(Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)
SKM, an umbrella collective of over 40 farmer groups, called off the tractor parade on Tuesday evening.(Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)

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  • Baldev Singh, a member of Bharatiya Kisan Union (Dakaunda), said they marched on the agreed upon route because they wanted the protests to remain peaceful.
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When the farmers reached Nangloi at 11 am, the cheer and celebration turned into clashes within 45 minutes, as some farmer groups breached their route agreement and tried to move on roads they did not have permission for.( Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
When the farmers reached Nangloi at 11 am, the cheer and celebration turned into clashes within 45 minutes, as some farmer groups breached their route agreement and tried to move on roads they did not have permission for.( Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

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  • At many places, local residents showered flower petals on the rally.
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Smoke billows from a tear gas shell during a tractor rally by farmers to protest against farm laws on Republic Day at Ghazipur border near Delhi(Reuters)
Smoke billows from a tear gas shell during a tractor rally by farmers to protest against farm laws on Republic Day at Ghazipur border near Delhi(Reuters)

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Farmers breaking the barricades as they head towards Delhi during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)
Farmers breaking the barricades as they head towards Delhi during a tractor rally to protest against farm laws at Singhu border in New Delhi. (Amal KS/ Hindustan Times)

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UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2021 04:37 AM IST
  • Singhu Border has been the most prominent protest site for the farmers at Delhi’s border for the last two months.
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As sales dominate online and shops in the city, denizens share about the discounts they have been availing! (Photo: Getty Images/iStock (For representational purposes only))
As sales dominate online and shops in the city, denizens share about the discounts they have been availing! (Photo: Getty Images/iStock (For representational purposes only))

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A motorist passes by a mural of frontline workers against coronavirus at RK Puram in New Delhi on July 25. Delhi’s Covid-19 recoveries have outstripped new cases on almost all days this month barring a few exceptions, after ramped-up containment and testing efforts over the past month or so. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)
A motorist passes by a mural of frontline workers against coronavirus at RK Puram in New Delhi on July 25. Delhi’s Covid-19 recoveries have outstripped new cases on almost all days this month barring a few exceptions, after ramped-up containment and testing efforts over the past month or so. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Ayshee Bhaduri, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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