How to recover from COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives and livelihoods of people living in poverty. A Magic Bus Survey on the impact of COVID-19 found that 73% of our families saw a drop in their income and almost 55% families in our communities had no source of income. More women have lost jobs. Food is scarce as families have run out of their meager savings. Schools and play spaces are closed. Children are confined to overcrowded homes. Very few (only 33%) have access to online learning. A large number of children are engaged in doing household chores; many of them are also doubling up as farm hands and doing odd jobs. About 41% parents feel they will not be able to cover education costs.
How will India recover from COVID-19? How will Indian families recover from COVID-19?
The answers to these questions lie in the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery program.
- Magic Bus’ COVID-19 Crisis Recovery program will ensure 300,000 children at risk of dropping out, are back in school, have regular attendance, and are intent on completing formal education.
- By securing livelihoods of 200,000 families, Magic Bus COVID-19 Crisis’ Recovery program will enable families to be able to invest in their children’s education, keeping them in school and not pulling them out to be a child laborer or become a victim of child trafficking.
- Restoring incomes of 200,000 families and working with families will also ensure they have enough nutritious food to eat, girls and boys are treated equally, and girls are not considered a burden. This, in turn, will ensure girls go to school, and are not married early.
- Magic Bus will continue to work with the larger community to ensure children are in school. We will be working towards strengthening community-based institutions like the School Management Committees, Panchayats (Village Councils) and local governance bodies and Self-help groups.
- The economic recovery of families will help to recover Indian economy after COVID-19.
How do we ensure economic recovery from COVID-19?
Restoring incomes during a time when jobs are scarce and the economy is shrinking may not be an easy task. The Magic Bus Crisis Recovery program recognizes this challenge and suggests an available alternative: tap into government support schemes to fight the aftermath of COVID-19.
Here are a few ways in which the program plans to do this:
- In order to restore incomes of families living in the rural areas, we will be ensuring linkages to government support schemes to fight the aftermath COVID-19. Schemes such as The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, State Rural Livelihood Missions, and the Agricultural Technology Management Agency, which are helping rural families to rebuild their livelihoods and ensure stable incomes.
- In order to promote continuity in children’s education, Magic Bus will identify and train community volunteers and School Management Committee (SMC) members, conduct door-to-door survey in order to map dropouts. Magic Bus will then engage with parents in order get children back in school. Within schools, Magic Bus will carry out its life skills and learning engagement sessions, track regularity of children, and jointly plan activities with school authorities to ensure quality of learning.