COVID-19 affected children in more ways than one


Ranavasia Lata Paragbhai
UNICEF/ UN0380059/Kiron
09 December 2021

During the lockdown, I was frightened by the frequent sound of sirens of ambulances. It kept me up many nights. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people lost their jobs. With less money

at home, families had to go to bed on an empty stomach. Children remained hungry. There were frequent quarrels in the house. Children suffered a lot and in some cases, were forced to go out to work to earn money. Everyone was terrified by the mere mention of the word Corona.

Lockdown became an unpleasant experience

for some children. At times they were physically and mentally abused by members of their own families. Constant fights between parents further added to their stress.

For many, online education was a ray of hope

as I could still interact with my friends and teachers even during the lockdown. This made me very happy and helped me feel connected even though we were physically apart. But not every child had access to a mobile phone. Sometimes they had only one phone in the family. Deciding which child would get that phone for their class then became a problem. In most cases, boys got preference over girls. Even if they did manage

to get a phone, paying the monthly bill was an additional burden. In a hilly area like Amirgarh, where I am from, even the mobile network is poor.

Children were vulnerable in other ways too.  They would play online games or watch pornographic videos. Some visit social media sites instead of studying, and became victims of cybercrime and sexual abuse.

When families got poorer, labour increased a lot in tribal societies during the pandemic period.

We must do our best to keep COVID-19 away. Everyone must wear a mask, and wash their hands with soap frequently, and get themselves checked if they have a cold, cough, or fever. Caution and safety are key to keeping the virus and our troubles away.


By Ranavasia Lata Paragbhai, 18, India