Covid-19 stopped the world for a while. Even though everyone was impacted, it hit the poor ones the hardest. It was easier to transition from physical to the virtual world for the ones who could afford but there were multiple urban and rural poor in India who were not as lucky. Virtual education for instance brought to us the possibility of making top teachers available for students in every village of the country, but at the same time (on a much larger scale) it led to multiple kids from poor households to drop out because of lack of availability of resources to afford smartphones and internet connection, further widening the gap between what kind of job opportunities will be available to them once they are out of school and pandemic phase.
I have cousins in rural part of the country who cannot afford to have multiple mobile phone for the education of their three children (two girls and one boy). So they have decided that the boy should be the one to use the limited resources that they have. The older daughter has now been allocated household responsibilities and ‘voluntarily’ doesn’t want to go back to school because staying at home is ‘more fun’. This is a common narrative in most of the poor households. From what I can see, this COVID-19 has led to creating deeper divide in the society in terms marginalizing people on the basis of their lack of privilege or gender or both. Today these little kids do not realize what they are losing, only to look back in regret of not being able to study and securing a future for themselves.
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