Bhubaneswar: In any crisis children and women are the worst affected and doubly vulnerable. The covid-19 is no different from the previous ones. Children are innocent and pure, so it is easy to dilute their minds to make them do something which is not legitimate. The hike in dropouts from schools and children getting into many odd jobs to support their families financially is a clear example of this. As the pandemic has pushed additional millions of families and children to live in acute poverty, the future of innumerable children has done darkness by the wrath of the economic situation caused by the covid-19.
The impact of the pandemic has been different from region to region and across the economic state per se. It is to note that in the state of Odisha the children hailing from a remote tribal region or district have faced a different experience in the course of the pandemic than the children living in urban or semi-urban areas. In terms of education, the children in different parts of the state have gone through problems with various facets. The dearth of Internet connectivity, abrupt shutting down of the schools, parents losing their jobs/livelihoods, and families lacking sources to afford smartphones for digital classes for children, are a few of the issues raised in the way of attaining free and compulsory education for the rural children. Post the pandemic as well mist the children cannot return to school as it is found that they have already been engaged in some odd, bondage jobs which is certainly alarming.
Millions of children all across the globe have lost their parents and are now orphans due to the pandemic. It is heart-wrenching that these children have lost their childhood and their future can be protected if the government takes adequate initiatives in that direction. In this course, the girl children have also faced additional discrimination factored in the economic upheaval. Considering there was always gender discrimination in the education of the children, the boy child has been given preference to avail education more than a girl child as she is supposed to be married off to another family. The pandemic seems to have highlighted all those discriminatory lines which were thought to be blurred to an extent in the process of a long active battle to attain gender equality. The families which have broken down economically do prefer their son to access the education first as they are unable to afford both the boy and the girl. Starting from smartphones, digital education and sending the child to the school the girl children again got segregated.