COVID-19 and Issues in India: A brief Report/コロナ禍におけるインドの現状


Reported by Swati Mittal, Intern at Free The Children Japan

COVID-19 has come as public health emergency and one of the biggest catastrophes worldwide. WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

The first case of COVID-19 infection was reported on January 27, 2020, in Kerala, India. The repercussions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are intruded in every aspect of our society and daily routine. Developing countries like India also face profound impact at varied factors like health, education, poverty, economy, and many more.

The COVID-19 crisis has put the government and policymakers in an enigma to choose between closing the educational institutions to ensure health and safety concerning the spread of COVID-19, thus saving lives of students and granting them to function normally to prevent the loss of education to students (1).

An online survey on the urban population (Delhi) by Chaturvedi K et al. reported that 38.3% of students had negative responses towards online classes, and 33.4% considered it average. All the students who participated in the survey, were able to afford laptops or different gadgets to access online education. The study also reported a significant impact on the mental health of the students.

The survey by Hassan MM et al. assessed teacher’s perspectives about online education tools and methods. The study reported that teachers are not familiar with online platforms/tools, knowledge, and skills to handle online communications. The study suggested the need for the professional training for teachers regarding the administration of online tools (1). Unfortunately, no study was done on the students in public schools or slum schools as these children cannot afford smart gadgets or internet connections to access online surveys or education. Additionally, these schools are not well-equipped to provide online education to their students.

We, Free the Children Japan (FTCJ), in collaboration with an NGO in India, are trying to help a slum school in Mumbai and West Bengal. We are trying to collect second-hand smartphones and provide internet connections so that these children can resume their education. According to the Right to Education Act (RTE) enacted on August 4, 2009 (3), government and education policymakers are bound to take action for all types of economic classes in India so that every child can access education during this pandemic.

Lockdown in India was declared on March 25, 2020. Since the lockdown began, hospitals have been working below capacity, with non-emergency medical procedures postponed, many outpatient departments shut. In some cases, entire hospitals closed for several days because of health workers getting infected (4).

The second wave of covid-19 came like a tsunami in India, leading to the exhaustion of crematoriums. It started in mid-March, and on April 9, the highest number of cases (144,829) has been identified in India (5). India has officially recorded 30.1 million infected covid-19 cases and 393,000 deaths as of June 24, 2021(6). The continuous increase in the number of covid patients lead to overwhelming hospitals. Hospitals in India are running desperately short of beds, medical oxygen, and essential drugs for coronavirus treatment. Maharashtra, which has seen the most significant COVID-19 cases, has 2.0 beds per 10,000 population.

The three-pronged approach which is under action to stop the epidemic by the government is;
a) “whole of society and the whole of government approach” with strong leadership, communication, and decisions based on science
b) enhancing health systems by building on past efforts, by relying on current strategies, by deploying new technology by strengthening existing partnerships and forging new partnerships.
c) digital initiatives undertaken by the union government

India is also struggling to immunize its massive population as several states reported shortages of COVID-19 vaccines. As of June 24, around 10.3% of the Indian population is completely vaccinated (8). The vaccine manufacturers in India and the USA are supposed to supply millions of doses to cover the immunization process swiftly.

The fluctuating conditions created by covid-19 lead to loss of business activities and loss of employment affecting many lives. The daily wagers, construction workers, street vendors, and domestic helpers have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and lockdowns and live a life of uncertainty and disrupted incomes. A blog by Dipak kumar mentioned that the first wave of COVID 19 pandemic had pushed 23 crore people below the poverty line (below the national minimum wage threshold of Rs. 375.00 per day). The report said that there had been a rise of 15% in poverty in rural India and a rise of 20% in urban India during the last pandemic year (9). Poverty has given rise to food insecurity. According to the 2020 Global Hunger Index, the score of India is 27.2, which is classified as serious. Many covid supporters are purchasing food relief material from the Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to increase their sources of income and provide the same material as an aid to the marginalized in the community itself.

Samarpann offers sustainable solutions for health, education, food, and livelihood for the most marginalized communities in India’s rural and tribal areas. However, the unemployment rate had come down to 8.7% on June 13, 2021, after touching the peak of 15% in April and May 2020 during the nationwide lockdown (10,11). The experts and economists say that the sharp decline in the unemployment rate is due to the recovery made by the unorganized sector and ease in the lockdown.

In this recovering stage from the second wave, a constant threat of the third wave is surrounding the country. The effect of the next wave can be minimized by vaccinating the vulnerable, constant surveillance, reliable data, which will help India tackle the third wave and following appropriate guidelines provided by the government.

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翻訳協力:AshA(アシャ)~海外子ども支援事業~ 白井康平









2009年8月4日に策定されたRight to Education Act(教育の権利に関する法令)をもとに、政府や国の教育機関は、コロナ禍でも全ての子どもが教育を受けられるよう、ただちにアクションを起こすことが求められています。






A. 社会全体、政府全体として連携し、強いリーダーシップと円滑なコミュニケーション、科学的根拠に基づく意思決定をすること
B. 蓄積してきた経験を活かし、すでにあるパートナーシップの強化や新しいパートナーシップを構築によって新しい科学技術を備え、医療システムを強化すること




Dipak kumar氏のブログによると、コロナの第1波は2300万の人々を貧困状態にしたと述べられています。また、そのブログによると、ここ一年でインドの農村地域では貧困に苦しむ人が15%増え、都市部では20%も増えたということです。また、貧困による食糧危機も深刻です。2020年のGlobal Hungerの指標によると、インドの数字はは27.2で、この数字は、とても深刻な状況であることを示しています。




References (参考文献)

1. Hassan MM, Mirza T, Hussain MW. A Critical Review by Teachers on the Online Teaching-Learning during the COVID-19 [J]. International Journal of Education and Management Engineering. 2020;10(8):17-27.
2. Chaturvedi K, Vishwakarma DK, Singh N. COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental health of students: A survey. Children and youth services review. 2021 Feb 1;121:105866.
3. (accessed on June 25,2021)
4. Dore B. Covid-19: collateral damage of lockdown in India. Bmj. 2020 April 30;369.
5. Kar SK, Ransing R, Arafat SY, Menon V. Second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in India: Barriers to effective governmental response. EClinicalMedicine. 2021 June 1;36.
6. (accessed on June 25,2021)
7. (accessed on June 25,2021)
8. d&q=number+of+people+vaccinated+with+covid+in+india (accessed on 25th June,2021)
9. (accessed on June 25,2021)
10. (accessed on June 25,2021)
11. (accessed on June 25,2021)