A lot has been heard in the news about how the pandemic swooped over every country. The Republic of India was no exception. Talk to any Indian about the surge of the pandemic and they wouldn’t describe ventilators and hospitals. They would rather imagine labourers lugging their belongings and walking along the highway in 50 degrees to get back to their villages, or the day when the whole country clapped plates to salute the doctors.
The pandemic took a huge toll on the country as a whole. It came in and swept away our resources, economy, mental health, loved ones, and everything in between. The poor became poorer and exposed, while the rich holed up in the comfort of their mansions. Not only did the pandemic bring out a different phase among the citizens, but the government too showed several colours. The doctors worked the longest hours, while the students were left uncertain of their upcoming futures. Surely, this was the case with most of the world but while other countries managed to revive from the situation, India somehow happens to be suffering wave after wave, and variation after variation of this imposter disease.
The impact of this pandemic on the already less developed economy of India was one of the most drastic ones. As stated by the Times of India, “Almost all the sectors have been adversely affected as domestic demand and exports sharply plummeted with some notable exceptions where high growth was observed.” The aviation and the tourism sector of the country was the first to be significantly hit with a fall in the economy. The two industries have dealt with severe cash flow problems since the very beginning of COVID and the impact is now visible on White and Blue collar jobs in the sector. Similarly, the pandemic also hit the Oil and Gas industry as the flow of fuel slowed significantly due to various restrictions imposed. Another significant impact fell upon small and middle scale industries and startups. Extended lockdown had a negative consequence on the acquisition of raw material, supply of finished goods and availability of workers to work in production and supply processes. A large number of people were left without a job and barely enough income to afford proper meals. The silver lining to it all would be that the food and agriculture sector (the backbone of the country) was not harmed as much since the demand for food was continuous. Apart from that, the Work From Home provisions made by various companies allowed somewhat smooth functioning and a slow but steady income.
India ranked among the top countries with the largest number of COVID deaths. With 421, 382+ COVID related deaths, and around 38, 089 infections reported daily, India faced a huge death penalty due to the pandemic. As though the losses of loved ones by COVID were not enough, India also faced a secondary disease on a large scale - degrading mental health. Fear and anxiety about the disease and the overwhelmed healthcare system have spread through the population, causing a decline in mental health throughout the country. Senior citizens were scared and this led to increased amounts of stress leading to depression and other related diseases. Frontline workers were unable to cope with increased working hours and having to face death on a daily basis. Along with that, the underlying mental health crisis in India was given a way out to the surface affecting a lot of people in the course of the lockdown.
Talking bout the young generation, every year, around 100,000 Indian students move abroad to pursue higher education. With wave over wave of Covid-19 raging across the country, admissions to foreign universities have become a major concern for aspiring students and their parents. Those wanting to pursue higher education within the country were left clueless too. The colleges were shut down and admissions came to a pause due to delays in entrance examinations. With regards to those still in school, the pandemic paved the way for the new online teaching for students in India. This, like everything else, comes with a catch. Due to the economic state of India, a lot of students have minimum to zero access to the internet and digital facilities. Because of this, the education of lakhs of students came to a halt. The examinations were also cancelled due to the same and the parallel methods to allocate grades may have worked in favour of some, but not in those of others. All this led to a huge question mark on the lives of students and their education. Increased cases of mental health were also seen among students resulting from the same.
This article aquaints you to majorly three topics, but this does no justice to the condition that the pandemic has rendered India into. India has constantly faced difficulties in the various sectors of life. Despite that, it had managed to remain healthy, culturally rich, attractive and on its way to development. For that reason, long overdue measures must be taken, people must be helped and safety must be provided because what is left of India, is still precious and still our hometown.
Edited by Anya Kazi