“Adivasi communities are adversely affected by COVID-19 and its impose on lockdown. Lack of healthcare facilities, loss of livelihoods, scarcity of food security, unemployment, burden of indebtedness, drought and starvation are major complications. The government must initiate an exclusive action plan to address the difficulties faced by adivasis to overcome COVID-19 pandemic –otherwise it will create unpredictable devastations”.
The health crisis is “quickly becoming a child rights crisis. And without urgent action, a further 6,000 under-fives could die each day,” the UNICEF said on 14th May 2020. As the coronavirus outbreak enters its fourth month in India, schools are closed, parents are out of work and families are under sufferings and psychosocial problems are faced by all marginalised. The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Already, there are an estimated 152million children in child labour, 72million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours. Children of all society –especially the tribal children are in high risk category due to COVID-19 crisis.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a number of issues and problems for the working class –especially the tribal communities are into further vulnerable situation in India. The present lockdown due to COVID-19 –Health, Education and Economic Emergency is followed by unexpected miserable conditions beyond one’s imagination. Similarly, the post lockdown period will generate unbelievable human rights violations and it will produce negative impact on the marginalised communities.As is the case in most crises, the most vulnerable in society will feel the worst impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. Children, especially those from poor communities such as tribals, dalits, rural landless farmers are at particular risk of exploitation as parents fall deeper into poverty during the ensuing economic crisis and face appalling choices about how to sustain their families. Some may feel forced to send their children into the labor market while others seeking employment risk being trafficked for forced labor.
For many children, the COVID-19 crisis will mean no education, or falling further behind their peers. More than 99 percent of the students in our country are out of school, due to school closures for many days. The crisis has exposed vast disparities in emergency preparedness, technology access, internet access for children, and availability of learning materials. Although much focus has turned to online learning platforms, many government schools are not set up to use them or do not have the technology and equipment to provide online teaching. Children of marginalized adivasi communities are in high risk. Still, most of the tribal villages are without electricity and it is impossible for tribal children to gain benefits of schooling. According to Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 56% of the tribals are displaced, 78% of the tribals are living in poverty, over 60% are migrating in search of employment, above 54% of the tribal children are drop-outs at primary education and 81% of the tribal children are drop-outs at higher education and nearly 65% of tribal children are malnourished and 79% of tribal children unable to get immunization vaccines, 36% of workforce are from SC/STs and 115 million are working children—in which tribal children are the highest portion in labour exploitation. Now these data will increase due to COVID-19 Crisis and its effects. The COVID-19 health pandemic and its results on economic sector will increase difficulties for poor to sustain their life and livelihoods. In this situation children are going to face uncountable challenges. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour and it is going to obvious among the scheduled tribes.