Lockdown, flood forced students to drop out: survey

A survey of 7,200 households from over 20 urban slums, which faced a double whammy of being affected by the COVID lockdown and flooding in the city last year, indicates that several young students had to drop out of school to augment their family income.

The survey was done by the NGO, Helping Hand Foundation.

Since a large number of people living in urban slums depend on daily wages to support themselves, the lockdown and the flooding led to many students between ages 10 and 17 years to work on daily wages, the survey indicates. A vast majority of the households that were surveyed (95%) live in rented accommodation.

Several of these members work as artisans and craftsmen, and were involved in embroidery work, zari, and zardozi. Others were employed in mechanic shops. Approximately 30% of the surveyed households saw members forced to take up daily wage jobs on account of a loss of income. A lot of these people are unable to find employment even now. This trend was seen in areas such as Shaheen Nagar, Salala, and Barkas.

The loss of income due to the pandemic and flooding also forced women to work as domestic helps in relatively affluent areas, the survey notes.

The survey reiterated that during the flooding, many had lost important documents of identification like Aadhaar cards, one of the most important documents that need to be produced at the time of applying or availing welfare schemes, birth certificates and educational certificates.

Another 100 families, which were part of the survey, are forced to survive on goodwill and charity. Some of the respondents of the survey also stated that they are unable to access healthcare facilities as they stay away from Urban Primary Health Centres, Area Hospitals or Basthi Dawakhanas.

The areas covered under the survey include Rajiv Gandhi Colony, Saif Colony, Habib Colony, Wadi-e-Saliheen, and Amreen Colony, among others.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 10:22:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/lockdown-flood-forced-students-to-drop-out-survey/article34321149.ece

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