Children are doubly vulnerable because their education and mental growth are also being affected by this pandemic
It is heartening to see that 1.2 million underprivileged children around the country are all set to receive stipends from the Ministry of Education before the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr. The poor are always hardest hit in a crisis situation, and this current pandemic has been catastrophic for many in Bangladesh who have been brought to their knees, devoid of any savings and forced to skip meals.
Children are doubly vulnerable, because their education and mental growth are also being affected by this pandemic. School-going children need nurturing, attention, and care, and while the country scrambles to manage this crisis from every possible angle, naturally, children are the ones who end up being neglected. This neglect, however, could cost us dearly.
Ultimately, children are the ones who will take the reins of the country in the future. Innovative solutions as to how to prevent future outbreaks, or how to drive the economy forward amid great constraints, such as the social distancing measures we are experiencing today, will come from young, fertile minds. If their education suffers, so will the entire country.
To that end, a government stipend to ease their suffering will not solve the problem, or even make anyone’s suffering go away fully, but every bit helps. It is important to have proper oversight though, and ensure that the money indeed goes to the hands it is intended for.
Too often in the past we have seen disbursements end up in the pockets of unscrupulous parties. It will be a great shame if that happens this time around.