COVID-19 has hit India’s children hard, and from all sides

Children have been left to endure huge losses due to COVID-19 with thousands becoming orphans in a matter of a few weeks | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Inside a government-run child care centre in southwest Delhi’s Jaunapur, eight-year-old Tanvi (name changed) looks exhausted from crying, her face drained of colour. According to Prakash, one of the caretakers, Tanvi hasn’t talked much ever since she arrived three weeks ago.

“She has been mostly crying. When she is not crying, she is repeatedly asking to see her parents.” Prakash doesn’t know how to tell the eight-year-old that she can’t see her parents. “They are no more.”

Nothing seems to distract Tanvi from her misery. Her wails punctuate the silence of the hallway every now and then.

The single-storeyed building has more than a dozen rooms that include a play area and a reading room as well. Yet no one could convince Tanvi to go near the toys or the neatly stacked-up books on the shelves. Outside, the empty swings in the playground swaying in the wind further accentuate the grief and loneliness housed inside the little hearts.

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