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The Potential Impact of COVID-19 on Children

Pranav Sinha

The pandemic COVID 19 is just about a warning to humans that Nature controls everything. The collapse of Health care system, financial institution, and economic instability has revealed the preparedness of we humans to encounter the consequences of Pandemic, we waved our hand to the prime concerns of economic instability, financial uncertainty but the most important factor that remained unattended for a longer period of time was the impact that may be indirect on Children. Children are so vulnerable to the consequential uncertainty of this pandemic that it is important for us to understand the situation in detail. COVID 19, did not make Children a direct victim but this pandemic has resulted in indirect effect both physically and mentally, these two effects when observed in separate purview, it explains that the children were the most innocent victims of the pandemic. The mental trauma out of the forced isolation pressured on the children had a direct impact, I have seen the same in my family thus it is important to explain the same by my experience. The anticipated outcome of this pandemic was very uncertain that even the system collapsed of the most favoured health services of the first world nations.

Delivery of services like Birth & Death registration, school services, paediatric services all were impacted. One of the major impacts were on the dependent population of children who are living in poverty and were depended on the Mid-Day-Meal of the School and had to face food Insecurity, their health is deteriorating as accounted by many NGO's. Another impact is the direct delay in Vaccination of the children as the threat and fear of the parents resist them to go for timely vaccination. Even the Medical services are overburdened by the Pandemic situation thus it just becomes impossible for the family to even think about it now. Now if we shift our attention towards the education system supporting it is clearly observed that the pandemic has resulted in the rising rates of the school dropouts which accounts to about 6 Million and about 290 Million Children are affected by this pandemic. Though the teaching methods have evolved during the pandemic but it is important to identify that the dependency of children on electronic gadgets is increasing the screen time and in many ways is harming and changing the lifestyle of the children. The above image depicts the crisis that they had to suffer, I met with these three children who were hungry and were cooking egg in a small earthen tea cup using wood residue, they expressed that they were in deep suffering and had very limited to eat, as they were now not going school, thus, were dependent on their own capacity. The low income families and the children of the Social Workers and Essential Services employee are deeply impacted by the hovering situation and still further awaits the threat of the post pandemic scenario of financial and work instability as the situation can worsen by the gradual imposition of untimely government decisions, though all efforts are being made to incorporate the available resources and its channelization in bringing the economy on the track thus it is expected the situation gets better as the time passes, and we should contribute both mentally and physically in reducing the unknown stress of the children.

Mitigating the ill effects of Mass Exodus on children is one of the major concerns that is needed to be understood, the pandemic brought with it the consequence of mass exodus due to financial instability being a threat to the livelihood of the dependent population on the work forces, majorly the children, they can be targeted for increased human trafficking due to the underlying circumstances. The extended situation of exodus has adequate evidence to support the claim. They being dependent on the prime bread earner of the family are also contingent on the decisions made for them and in many ways that relates to the consequential effects of the worsening situation. To reduce the risk and the uncertain impact, there should be stronger tracking systems at the state and the local levels in sync to keep record of families and children entering and exiting their Village/City of residence. Another situation out of the same is the dropping out from schools, out of the accounted school going population 20 % of the children are not going to school by the source NUEPA (2016). Only 32 % of Children finish their school education age-appropriately. these are the reasons that the school activities of the children can be impacted and can have adverse effect. The NUEPA data is from 2016, it can be imagined how this long year of 2020 could impact the most vulnerable population, the smaller ones. It is very important to provide children with adequate financial and social protection thus it is deliberately expressed to ensure budgetary provisions to ensure that the welfare is reached to the last child of the society, planning should be made so to ensure that that activities involving the better life pursuance should be well observed and tracked so as no further destitution can happen.

Disclaimer: The views presented in this article is of the author himself, this does not reflect the ideology of the organization. The views are personal and are for public address.