#SummerCommunityWork #Inclusion #Covid19 #DefiningMoment
"The social gap increased because of this pandemic. The upper-class people are able to afford everything they need. While the lower-class people are opting to move to their hometown due to no support from the government and officials in this testing time. Many of them lost their lives
walking tirelessly for thousands of kilometres on highways."
The Village and the City
One day I got to know about the unfortunate demise of one of my close family members. I went back to my hometown to attend the funeral and at the same time the COVID-19 cases started rising in India. When I and my family were about to come back to Delhi, the sudden lockdown got imposed and we got stuck in the hometown but far away from our home.
Imagine a situation where a person gets stuck in a place with no proper electricity (an average of 8-10 hours of electricity cut) and a hot place like Bihar. I being an engineering student of an Indian institute was forced to continue my studies online in this traumatic situation. The assessments and classes were going on like normal in this global pandemic, where you have no idea who is suffering how much either due to COVID-19 infection or with this sudden lockdown.
I was also worried about the fact that almost no one was aware about the COVID-19 there. Life was going on as usual in my village.
However, we came back to Delhi using E-Pass in the mid of May. My life didn’t go back to normal but it was better than before. I can very easily term these 2 months as the most challenging period of my life till now, the basic routine of a human life like sleeping was also very hard during that time. ( sleeping in 45 degrees with no fan and stretch this situation for 2 months)
After reaching Delhi, I could percieve the change in my life. I could attend classes, exams, etc. normally like any other student. I also took up some new skills and courses to learn and work on. I learnt how much life changes from village to city. At the same time I do realise the situation of students who are stuck somewhere,not having proper resources for attending online classes. This saddens me deeply and I totally empathize with them.
My experience taught me how life of a college student changes when his college management makes a bizarre decision of continuing with online assessment at the time of global pandemic. It made me realise how much mental health education and the idea of inclusion, that we lack, needs to be incorporated.
A supreme decision maker imposed a big decision like sudden lockdown without any planning and it resulted in numerous migrant workers dying on the roads. If they had considered the case of poor people and made better arrangements, then this chaos wouldn’t have happened. It exposed the lack of thought and empathy that goes into making such arbitrary decisions.
I hope these lessons will stay with me and help me act wisely in the future.
Name: Himanshu Raj
Institute: IIIT Delhi