#Bestof2020: 10 Stories from the Ground to Understand the Impact of COVID-19 on Child Rights

Azra Qaisar


2020 has been an unprecedented and challenging year. In March 2020, we began sharing our field observations through a series “Voices from the Field”. When the pandemic hit, we initiated ‘COVID stories’ under this series, to document our observations, challenges, and the overall situation on the ground.  As the year comes to an end, we look back at some key stories that were documented by our team members on child rights and child trafficking amid the pandemic.

Here is a list of 10 blogs that you must read to understand the field experiences of working with trafficking and child protection in India in light of COVID-19 –

  1. Voices from the field: Counseling in times of Coronavirus

A sudden break in the client-counselor relationship during highly anxious times such as a global pandemic can adversely affect the rapport established between the client and the counselor. Our counselor, Priya Ahluwalia, shared her experience of counseling in times of Covid-19.

        2. Covid Stories: And Miles to Go Before They eat

A few weeks into the lockdown, some women walked over 30 km to reach our Night Care Center in Kamathipura in the hope of finding essential supplies. Azra Qaisar, with inputs from Prerana’s NCC team, shared how people were severely affected due to the lack of essential provisions

      3. Covid Stories: What about my family?

During the time of lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic, many people felt that the safest place for vulnerable children is the Child Care Institutions (CCI) but what happens when a child living in a CCI is concerned about their family’s safety and security during such testing times, asks Prachi Naik from our Institutional Placement Programme team.

      4. Covid Stories: Reaching Home – The Struggles of a Migrant Family

This case, documented by Geetarani Lourembam from our Sentinel Team, brought to light the fate of workers who have migrated to Mumbai but are rendered absolutely helpless amid the lockdown. The pandemic has affected the dignity and self-respect of many by making them depend on relief material for survival. The failure of state systems at various levels are adding to their woes. In this blog, we share the story of a family trying to reach their home state from Mumbai.

     5. From Ashram School to being stranded in a Field – Reema’s Story

The sudden announcement of lockdown had led to a crisis in the lives of many, and Reema’s case highlights how it affected people even in areas with seemingly few cases of COVID-19, writes Amrapali Mukherjee from our Sanmaan team.

    6. Covid Stories: Amplified Risks to Victims of Inter-generational Prostitution

The vulnerabilities of victims of inter-generational prostitution concerns are further increased during a global crisis, making girls like Abhilasha quite vulnerable in the current situation, writes Aaheli Gupta from our Sentinel team.

    7. Covid Stories:  Does relief material actually reach those in need?

This case, documented by Rashmi Taylor from our ATC team, highlights the need to ensure that relief material reaches those that are actually in need. Despite the crisis, in some places, people in positions of power were still depriving people of essential services. 

   8. Covid Stories: Missing Milestones – Stories of Disfranchised Grief

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown altered the way grief was seen and experienced. At the present time, parents and caregivers are not only grieving the loss of their jobs and financial security but also the loss of their autonomy, personal space, daily interactions, and missed milestones. Here are a few stories, documented by Priya Ahlwaulia, that illustrate this thought.

   9. Covid Stories: Building support systems for a child after restoration: Neema’s Story

Neema entered the juvenile justice system in 2019, as a child in need of care and protection. After being restored to her family, she was sexually assaulted in 2020. This case, by Geetarani Lourembam, highlights how social workers can work with a child, despite the physical distance to ensure the child’s safety and build support systems.

    10. Covid Stories: When Empowerment is an Illusion – Navigating Patriarchy at Home

As stakeholders working with young women, it is important that we understand the structures in which these young women are existing. One of the most common ways in which structures adapt is by providing an illusion of choice and progression in specific situations. Priya Ahluwalia from our Sentinel team shares her observations and the impact of COVID-19 on those situations.

For more such stories, check our blog to know more about human trafficking and child rights in India.

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