By Volunteer Sneha Pai, FHI Bangalore
In what can be called the new-normal world, we are heading towards a situation where schools are shut indefinitely and are already practicing new methods of teaching. It sounds strange and definitely not pleasant. Along with struggling to get acquainted with new words such as ‘isolation,’ ‘pandemic,’ and ‘social distancing,’ children must also be wondering about the sudden queer ways of the world. Young minds are usually wired to react to situations emotionally, hence, expecting the rational brain to calm their minds in these surreal times could be hard unlike for us adults.
To most of us, fortunately seated in our couch at home, having a good internet connection seems normal. But it is still off the limit to a lot of homes especially to those who manage to barely make ends meet. So, for the lesser privileged children living in such homes, the concept of home tutorials or attending online classes seems too farfetched.
Another of my concern is towards children belonging to families that might have lost jobs, had to migrate back to their villages or have in other ways been affected by the pandemic. Children living in such vulnerable households might be given additional responsibilities like helping parents with odd jobs to make money, attending to the household chores or taking care of the younger children in the family. Conflicts and family quarrels are a common sight in these homes. Oftentimes, in such scenarios, education takes a backseat and the child is urged to drop out of school.
However, despite the unfavourable conditions enshrouding these lives, a beautiful thing to keep in mind is that children are gifted with immense resilience. As the world limps back to normal, children will bounce back with utmost ease and move on. As volunteers, we can only hope and remind them that this too shall pass.