India has seen more COVID cases in this second wave than any other country as the official data on the death toll indicates. People have died with a severe shortage of Oxygen supplies and hospitals and beds. The second wave of the pandemic that came like a burner blow, did not allow the authorities to plan before the disaster. Here comes the fundamental doubt on disaster management. Was there any lack in it?

The true horror of the deaths that rose in numbers created havoc in the peoples’ minds. No one was sure of their own lives, or those of their loved ones. Many families broke, many lives got destroyed, and many children have become directionless. There are many stories where children under the age of 16 lost both their parents. Listening to these stories will make everyone ponder with one question: How and what will these children’s future be?

There have been many stories published and telecast about such children in the newspapers, websites and news channels. These stories telecast as flash news always go under the carpet. They are forgotten as fast as the remote changes the news channels. Many such stories go unwatched if the stories are from faraway places. Such stories also go unnoticed if the people are from marginalised communities. The hands of democracy do not reach where these children come from. The question is, who will embrace them?  Situations like these also pose a question on humanity. 

(Picture Courtesy & Photo by Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

This story that I happened to watch on a Telugu News Channel a few weeks ago is still not digestible. It is a story of two children, Ajay-13 and Vijay-11(names changed). Their father, Anjaneya, lost his life to COVID. The children lost their mother many years ago. They are left with a small house that his father built and a 72-year-old grandmother. All the time, as I was watching the 7-minute news report, 70,000 questions were pricking my mind. Who will take care of them after the grandmother?  Who will take care of them? Who will cook for them? Who will pay their school fees? Who will teach them good or bad?

Apart from these, the other questions that surfaced were my fears; one of which is to wonder what would happen if the children lose their innocence and resort to dangerous ways of life. The other is, what if they choose illegal ways to lead their lives and make themselves vulnerable to so many other dangers?

Who is to be blamed?
Who is to be blamed?
Who is to be blamed?

By Swapna Peri

I am an avid reader, book reviewer, writer, narrator, translator and copy editor. I also am a content writer and reviewer with Storizen Magazine,CriticSpace Journals website, The Literature Times website, The Asian Review website and the Literature Today website. I am a member of various book clubs and also a columnist with one of the leading women’s websites in Telugu named ‘Vihanga’.

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