In our country India children are considered as gift of god. A mere birth of a child becomes a beautiful occasion to celebrate for the family. This sudden spread of epidemics or pandemics, such as COVID-19(out break of corona virus), spread of black/white/yellow fungus in certain parts of India, produce potential risks to child development due to the risk of illness, protective confinement, social isolation, lockdown and the increased stress level of parents, guardians and caregivers. This situation becomes an adverse childhood experience (ACEs) and risks to generate toxic stress, negativity, with consequent potential losses for brain development, individual and collective health, and the long-term impairment of cognition, mental and physical health, physical and body growth, and working capacity as future adults.
Furthermore India is known as a country with various outdoor activities, helping in overall growth of children be it mentally or physically. The restrictions are for our safety but this is resulting to improper growth with children. Certain values are learned with public interactions and not books or stories, which has become certainly impossible now. There are several factors that influence the physical and mental health of children (rather lack of) experiencing the stress inherent in a COVID-19 pandemic/epidemic, such as isolation itself, school shutdown, reduced social life and physical activities, changes to routine, increase in frustration and irritability among individuals making them bitter, sleep difficulties, exposure to disharmony at home, excessive screen use, unhealthy diet, and others issues.
Some families are toxic or controlling or can be said as having an improper place for growth example: parents constant fighting, parents constantly working, domestic violence, and others. For children with lifestyle like this, outdoor activities, schools, tuitions, friends, etc., was a distraction and a healthy environment. But now it’s impossible. Thus effecting greatly and causing an negative impact. Children born from 2018-21, don’t even know their own extended family members personally or haven’t been out to parks, gardens, etc., other beautiful place for physical and mental growth. And with the lack of human interaction, their brain functioning is being highly effected. The dependence on technology has increased and thus eating or performing normal day to day activities is via listening to something on phone or television, etc.
Children lost their families, parents, caretakers amid lockdown and pandemic. Their future, upbringing, everything is being effected. And they are not grown enough to think how to what to do. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic created havoc in India. Not only did the country see a steep rise in positive cases – crossing 4 lakh new infections daily weeks together – but also the mortality rate also increased sharply making us miserable and helpless. Even now, as the number of new coronavirus cases is gradually reducing, the death toll is consistent being around 4,000 to 4,500 daily. Several children were orphaned during second-wave of COVID-19 PANDEMIC in India, leaving them distraught, helpless and vulnerable. There are various steps taken by the state governments for the helping these children:
• Delhi: The Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal has announced that children who have lost both their parents to ongoing pandemic will receive an aid of Rs 2,500 per month till they turn 25 years old, and expenses for their present and further education will be borne by the Delhi government itself.
• Chhattisgarh: Under the ‘Chhattisgarh Mahtari Dular Yojna’, the Chhattisgarh government will be bearing the cost of education of children who have lost their parents to the Corona Virus pandemic .
• Madhya Pradesh: The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Sri. Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that the state government to provide aid of worth Rs 5,000 per month to children orphaned due to the pandemic and also provide free education and ration to them.
• Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Reddy has announced fixed deposit accounts worth Rs 10 lakh for children orphaned by the COVID-19. Government officials have been directed to collaborate with banks and other required officials and work out a financial package that would provide a steady income to the children till they are 25 years of age.
• Jharkhand: The Government of Jharkhand has announced that it will rehabilitate children orphaned by the pandemic and also guaranteed financial assistance to the caretakers(fostering).
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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