A child struggling back from school
Delhi is one of the worst hit, in the devastating second wave of Covid. This virulent virus claims at least 2,000 deaths and 350,000 new infections every day. Schools reopened briefly, in February and March. We did four sessions, in batches, one per week for our girls there.
The sessions were on transitioning to school after staying at home for nine months. Many of the children are first generation learners and did not have access to online education. The sessions were on catch up study plans, mental health issues dealing with the Covid, loss of parents livelihood or the loss of a parent and health and hygiene.
In April, schools are closed again, and they are sent back to the red-light area again. This wave has been devastating. As parent continue to die or fall sick, lack of food and medicine has become a major issue. Housing and fresh air is a luxury. Some women have committed suicide. Some have simply abandoned their children and gone elsewhere. The crematoriums are too full to accommodate them.
In this scenario, Apne Aap has been ensuring food and medicines, of course. In addition, we have also begun to provide transportation for vaccinations and hospital referrals. For some of the children we have found safe housing.
I will share the story of two girls as an example. One is in Class 12 and one is in Class 8.
Their school shut down in the devastating second wave and they were sent back home. Home was a small room in the red-light area. The room also served as the brothel for their mother. Unable to look after her children, the mother had run away.
Predators began to ask the children to act in sex videos in return for food.
Luckily an Apne Aap community mobilser was able to find a rental accommodation far from the red light area for the children. Apne Aap was able to also send them groceries, a wi-fi dongle and computer. We were also able to find students to teach them online. They are safe, healthy, and studying.
There are 6 million children of the 230 million vulnerable children in India, who will not go back to school due to lack of food. We are helping some of them in the red-light areas of Delhi, Kolkata and Bihar. Help us help the most excluded women and children in this devastating Covid pandemic.
Child studies under a bridge due to school closure
Some children don't have a proper house
Struggling to keep up
Food is a luxury