Children’s day: Young India tackles pandemic
With just two days left for the most unique Children’s Day, a slice of young India turns the gaze on an extraordinary period in their lives. The Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown changed their outlook towards life. The commendable manner in which the post-millennial generation rose up to that challenge would have earned kudos from even ‘Chacha’ Jawaharlal Nehru, whose birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day. Through vignettes, poems and paintings, children from Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh shared their lockdown experiences with us.
‘We must face our fears in order to emerge victorious’
With schools and playgrounds closed, no guests visiting and no means to meet friends, the world suddenly went silent during the lockdown. And then one day, Covid-19 knocked at our door. My parents had developed the symptoms of the virus and I was worried. We all underwent the Covid-19 test and dreaded the results. Though my result was negative, my parents, unfortunately, tested positive and the doctor advised them treatment at home.
My parents decided to send me to my aunt’s house that was just a few blocks away but seemed miles away to me. I cried while packing my bags and my parents tried their best to comfort me. To add to it, exams were around the corner. I started studying and regularly called up my mother who helped me with studies on the phone. I kept myself motivated with positive thoughts.
After a week, the day came when I was back home. My happiness knew no bounds. I learnt that each of us must confront his/her fears.
Krisha Dedhia, Class 6, New Horizon Public School, Airoli, Navi Mumbai
‘I and six members of my family contracted Covid-19’
The most difficult situation during the lockdown was that I, with six members of my family, had contracted Covid-19. The illness was among the darkest phases of our lives. My grandparents were immediately hospitalised since they suffered kidney and heart ailments and rest of us were home quarantined.
I was fortunate to receive lots of support from my school teachers and friends who were so helpful and forthcoming. Due to swelling in my lungs and low oxygen levels, I was hospitalised for a week. Later, I developed post-viral bronchitis which lasted for nearly two months. I still remember my first attack of breathlessness, the memory of which gives me the jitters. We took all precautions and followed the government guidelines and SOPs. We are safe now. I would like to thank the doctors and nurses who took good care of me and are still doing so for thousands infected by Covid-19. I also thank friends who always cheered me up and helped me recover.
Radhika Tewari,Class 10 C, Delhi Public School, Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar, UP
Difficult times teach us valuable lessons
The world has come to a standstill due to Covid-19. In the beginning, it seemed like a nightmare. However, I soon realised that I had to utilise the time. “Good things come to those who wait,” has been my motto during these difficult times which taught me the value of patience. Today, we seem to be living in a virtual world. Classes are conducted online and we meet friends through apps. The lockdown made us realise the value of school life and especially of teachers who left no stone unturned to maintain continuity in education.
The pandemic taught me the importance of my family. We, as a family, spent more time together than before. I help in daily chores to reduce the burden on my parents.
The scarcity of food that many people faced owing to the lockdown instilled the idea that “a penny saved is a penny earned”. These hard times also made us realise the need to avoid the wastage of food. I am grateful to the government, police and health workers who are putting themselves in danger to save thousands of lives.
Rohan Kapoor, Class 10, St Mary’s School (ICSE), Mazagaon, Mumbai
‘Each person has an artist hidden within.’
Amid the lockdown, I had so many new things to do, learn and create. During the one-month vacation, I had some extra time as our online classes were not in progress then. I kept wondering what to do with the time. It was then that I came up with the idea of wall painting.
I had never attempted such a task before. My sister and I took our mother’s permission. Though my mother agreed to let us paint the wall, she was a bit apprehensive. She was worried that if the artwork didn’t turn out as planned, the wall would get ruined. But still she allowed us to go ahead.
My sister and I began with a few strokes. It took us several days. And guess what? It turned out to be amazing! We were both really happy with our newly-found talent. We showed the painted wall to cousins and friends over a video call. All of them appreciated our efforts.
I am not an artist but I would say that each one of us has an artist hidden within. So don’t wait, go ahead and explore your talent.
Somya Malhotra, Class 9 B, DC Model Sr Sec School, Sec-7, Panchkula, Punjab
‘For every low, there’s a high’
For every low, there’s a high. The lockdown, too, had a silver lining. The first positive impact was a cleaner environment. The cleaner air and water bodies were the result of the total shutdown. Another positive change was that it brought us closer to our families.
Staying at home helped strengthen the bonds. Since all eateries were shut, we had no option but to turn to home-cooked food that is more nutritious than the junk food we used to consume earlier. Our hygiene habits also improved vastly.We learnt to differentiate between essential and non-essential commodities. We learnt that a structured routine is not just necessary for education and social commitments but also for giving our day-to-day lives a purpose. Having a schedule while being confined to our homes helped increase productivity and keep spirits high. The lockdown also provided time to finish lessons that we used to find hard to cope with when the school was on. We are now free to plan lessons according to our learning abilities.
Akshay Kumar, Class 10, Satluj Public School, Panchkula, Punjab
‘In every situation, I learnt to be grateful’
During the lockdown, the best thing I learnt was to be grateful in every situation. Having read about migrant workers’ families, including children, walking miles barefoot without food, I realised how fortunate I am to be where I am. Another thing I realised is that optimism is the key to overcoming every ordeal. I discovered many things including doing arduous chores at home. The lockdown also taught me that when we will return to normal life I will be able to avoid boredom.
When cooped up at home, we developed many good habits which our future self will thank us for. For instance, I began reading the newspaper every day and took out the garbage bag after dinner.
I also learnt to do research on a given topic and the art of maintaining stocks of food item for emergencies. We should be thankful to our teachers for imparting education online. The lockdown taught us to live life without malls, friends, shopping, movies and parties and helped us bond with our families.
Vivaan Sethi, Class 5 E, GD Goenka Public School, Vasant Kunj, Delhi
‘I can be happy even sans burgers, pizzas’
We’ve read enough about how tough life has been due to the lockdown but everything we’ve been through has been a lesson. I have learnt many things. The first lesson I learnt is that hygiene and fitness is very important. Yet, it was as if we were discovering the value of washing hands and fitness for the first time.
I can live without burgers and pizzas and still be happy because there were many who didn’t have even the basic necessities. I realised how much space non-essentials were occupying. It helped me declutter. I learnt about the importance of being creative with scarce resources.
I found a budding baker and painter in me. I was anxious about studies but nowadays, learning, shopping, business, celebrating festivals and birthdays, everything can be done online. I also came to appreciate, respect and be thankful to not only family but to others too, like our domestic help and watchman. I learnt the joy in giving, helping and sharing. It’s true indeed that “every cloud has a silver lining!!”
Zunaira Shariq,Class 9, Mayoor School, Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar, UP
’The exploitation of nature must end’
This lockdown has been very difficult but it has taught humanity a lot of things. I learnt new skills like editing, creating electronic music, and even something as simple as making tea. But all of these things are subjective and you can learn them anytime.
The pandemic has also taught us important life lessons like we should no longer continue the ruthless exploitation of nature. Air and water pollution have pushed the world to a dangerous brink. Unless this is reversed immediately, we will be in serious trouble. It is extraordinary that the lockdown has also led to the revival of nature. We saw clear blue skies, heard the bird chirp after a long time.
The pandemic has also restored family bonding. As a student, the lockdown gave me a chance to get to know my inner strengths. Since acting and dancing mean the world to me, I decided to make a YouTube channel. At first, the lockdown was a bit unnerving but soon I began to see the positive side even in these difficult times.
Jayashree Ilamparithi,Class 8, DPS, Greater Noida, Gautam Buddh Nagar, UP