Know How COVID Pandemic Affected Odisha Children; Almost 50% Struggled With Emotional Issues

Bhubaneswar: A recent study by a non-profit trust claimed that 49.8 per cent of 2,219 school-going children from 84 blocks of 16 rural districts of Odisha could not get the required support from family members to deal with emotional and social issues, including learning support, during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Not just that, a whopping 73.2 per cent of them experienced mental and physical abuse.

The online study was recently released by non-profit Atmashakti Trust and its partners Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.

It further claimed that several of surveyed children battled mental stress due to lack of access to online education. About 94.3 per cent didn’t have access to smartphones. Online education was attended by a mere 10.2 per cent.

Among those who attended classes online, 32.2 per cent found it confusing and 17 per cent were reluctant attendees. At least 12.8 per cent of children claimed that they could not interact with teachers out of fear, while 14.7 per cent were embarrassed and 68.9 per cent felt no connect with the teachers.

Mental health experts, however, insisted that not everything was gloomy about the pandemic period.

According to Pranab Mohapatra of KIIMS (Department of Psychiatry), the pandemic also made children more adaptable to changes, improved their relationships with parents and turned them responsible. “If you talk about the community level, many of the children adapted well to the changes. A few things were disturbed like their daily routine. Some students in their adolescence faced problems as they stayed away from friends,” he added.

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