Guntur: Experts are worried about the likely increase in violence and abuse against children due to the financial stress of the parents as a result of the two-month-long lockdown.
It is considered that children may escape Covid-19 due to their active immune response. While 6 percent of the positive cases are from 0-15 years age bracket, it is around 2 percent for below the age of 5 years.
Child rights activists and pediatricians are raising concerns about psychological issues and physical abuse due to people losing their jobs in the coming days. “The teachers will have big task of coping with psychological stress issues of children after the reopening of schools. The classrooms will not be the same after the lockdown,” said Dr P Yashodhara, pediatrician and deputy superintendent of Government General Hospital (GGH), Guntur.
She said the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis will increase parenting stress, abuse and violence against children.
“Quarantine, isolation of parents, social distancing and discrimination will have serious adverse psychological effects on children. We need to handle them smoothly,” said Yashodhara.
She said that specific response to their mental distress should be considered when designing psychological intervention strategies in response to Covid-19.
Social activist NV Sarathchandra said the school education department should conduct urgent reorientation classes for teachers to handle children after the lockdown holidays.
Municipal Teachers Federation (MTF) state president S Ramakrishna said teachers in government schools where children from economically backward classes would join should be more careful in relieving stress.