By Priyanandan Kumar
After the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic which posed a serious global problem in health, social, economic, and human rights crisis. It adversely affected the whole world including children. Children being at a very low age experienced many problems in social interaction, education, sports, and many other things which deprived their right as given under the Indian Constitution and UN Convention. To curb the spread of Coronavirus govt. around the world shut down the educational institution which posed a problem for the growth of children.
Starting with the right to education which is provided under the Indian Constitution for children for free. After the lockdown and shutting of schools, most children are deprived of education. The shift of education on online-based created inequality among poor children and rich children. If we talk about the children living in town or urban area and studying in private school are mostly pursuing their education online. They have the resource for e-learning i.e. Mobile, laptop, internet, and electricity. But if we come to children living in rural areas and studying in Sarkari school (Government school), they don’t have any resources for e-learning. As their family income is limited and which is also impacted by the lockdown so they can’t afford gadgets such as mobile, laptop and also internet and electricity is not stable in such areas. Problem is that neither students can afford e-learning gateway nor teachers of govt. the school is well versed with this system of learning. Family living in urban areas having 2-3 children are also facing difficulties in providing every child e-platform for learning. As they can’t afford 2-3 devices. So maximum no. of children are being deprived of the basic fundamental right of education. The govt. has not come up with any plan for Sarkari school children as it is being shut for 2 years and deprived of education and societal growth. Many children in Sarkari school used to come in the lure of mid-day meal which is in the current situation they are being deprived of. Due to this kind of situation of closure of the school and depleting family income, many children are forced to child labor and they may not return to school at all. Those children who are attending online classes are being subjected to many atrocities like online harassment, bullying, etc. as they are subjected to the internet without any guide and control.
Due to this pandemic and lockdown, prevailing children are not having any opportunity to play an outdoor game. During the lockdown, children had no physical contact with their parents, peers, classmates, or family. Children who have little or no access to outdoor play and socialization have been negatively affected, making them easily bored, upset, and frustrated. As a result, many children suffer from mental health issues at a young age. Many children around the world are still deprived of their right to an adequate standard of living as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative effects. Government controls introduced in response to the pandemic have robbed many groups of children and families of their right to a decent life. According to studies, many children and families live in overcrowded homes with more than five people sharing a single room.
This pandemic has mostly affected below the poverty line people and the poorest countries. The lockdown and other forms of restriction by the govt. has exposed children to any form of abuse like child labor, psychological and physical violence, maltreatment, and sexual violence. Girls are more vulnerable to the risk of sexual violence, discrimination, and any other form of exploitation. This risk is continuously increasing as the sole earner of the family is being unemployed due to lockdown.
As disused above this pandemic has posed a significant threat to the safety and well-being of the family including children. People from all the section of society is being affected by this deadly virus and lockdown. However, children are especially vulnerable to the pandemic’s harmful consequences, both now and in the future. The government should come up with policy or laws which can provide a leaning platform for deprived children and also conduct exercises and campaign which can help them in storing mental health. If the children of a country are safe and better placed then only a country will be developed in the future.