Views on issues

Apocalyptic Effects of Covid-19

If someone a few months ago had said that the whole world would come to a standstill and we would all be forced to practice social distancing, no one would believe it. No one would have fathomed the damage that a virus would end up causing in the coming months. The effect that the virus has had on humankind psychologically, economically and socially is probably unprecedented.

Economically, it is expected that the world’s GDP could shrink by as much as 8%. Millions of people have already lost their jobs and are finding it difficult to make ends meet. The demand for most businesses has gone down as people are only spending money on essential commodities.  Consumer businesses have suffered a lot due to the lockdown with their earnings practically being nil during this period. Hardly anyone can be seen in malls, hotels and restaurants. Most employees in companies have had to take a cut in their salaries and wages. The stock markets in India posted some of its worst losses in history during the lockdown period with SENSEX falling by 4000 points and NIFTY falling by 1150 points in 1 day.

The poor had to and are enduring the worst during this period. Millions of migrant workers have lost their jobs and with no means of transport available to take them back home, they’ve had to walk hundreds of kilometres with their families to their respective villages and towns. Listening to such stories of hardships certainly breaks one’s heart! Added to that, governments of some states have revised labour laws to attract investment to revive the economy further adding to migrant labourers’ miseries.

Students have had to study through online means and those who do not have access to smartphones and the internet have lagged in their studies without any fault of theirs. They also have had to go through the stress of uncertainties of when and how their exams will be conducted with the virus showing no signs of stopping any time soon. On the positive side, many teachers have become tech-savvy and many ways have been devised to teach in effective ways.

Psychologically, the lockdown caused by the virus has affected each and everyone to at least some extent. Social distancing has induced loneliness in many and has led to more serious problems like depression and suicide. People, in general, seem to have become more frustrated and anxious because of their inability to meet friends and to visit public places with freedom. This has counter-actively led people to become socially-disobedient and irresponsible. Many have become obsessive and compulsive about sterilization and checking their body temperature. Again, the poor have suffered the most in this aspect because of financial uncertainties.

Not only humans but animals have also had to go through a lot of anguish. Humans have neglected their pets in the fear that they might spread the virus. Thousands of pets have no place to go due to this reason.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already due to this virus not taking into account the deaths that went unreported. The virus has pointed out major loopholes in our healthcare systems. They have been unable to deal with the rising cases properly. As a result, people have died because they couldn’t get access to proper health facilities.

There have been some silver linings though. The air and noise pollution levels have come down quite significantly. Stars have once again become visible in the night sky. People have started interacting with their families more due to ample time that is available in their hands and thus developing stronger bonds. People have started trying new things like cooking and writing. It has made us appreciate our freedom more and has underlined the importance of our friends and families in our lives.

Let’s hope that the pandemic ends soon and we can all return to our normal lives once again!

Views on issues

Why do we follow trends?

“Forget the rules! If you like it, wear it.”

Welcome to the late 2010s where wearing ripped jeans has become chic and listening to Drake has become a norm. I have nothing against ripped jeans or Drake but my problem is with those people who blindly follow the latest trends even if they don’t like it. Many of my friends just listen to English Songs just because everyone is listening to them. As a result, Hindi songs are becoming less and less popular day by day which too are beautiful(at least some of them).I don’t say that English songs are bad for I love them too but there is no point listening to them if you don’t understand them or like them.

Let me take another example. People put up stories on Instagram doing stupid things like giving “TBH” of people and rating them out of 10(I don’t know if its prevalent everywhere but my feed is full of such idiotic things). And how can I forget people putting up stories wishing people birthdays instead of just messaging or calling them directly. What’s more surprising is that people post stories of the messages they have got for birthdays on Snapchat and Instagram. And why do they do this? Just because everyone is doing so and they they think it’s fashionable and is a trend which needs to be followed.

Children of tender ages have their own smartphones even when they don’t need it one bit. All they do is play games on it and watch useless videos on YouTube. And not any ordinary smartphone, they have started demanding the latest iPhones and Google Pixels . Why? Again, because everyone has one and they want to look “stylish”. There are some people who even post pictures on social networking sites showing the latest phone or laptop they just bought! I don’t understand the reasoning behind such posts. Most of them behave as if they bought it with their own money while it was their parents who bought them whatever they have. Again it’s a trend which is senseless

People don’t study just because Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were dropouts. What they don’t realise is they were dropouts from ivy-league colleges. I agree that school education is not up to the mark but just wasting time roaming here and there, driving illegally over the speed limits and wasting your parents’ money won’t make you the next Mark Zuckerberg. People who think so, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but you are not living in the real world!

Another thing that recently surprised me was that people are donating to Kylie Jenner so that she can become the youngest billionaire. I don’t know what are such fans thinking! Again, nothing against Kylie Jenner, it was with hard work that she has achieved so much at such a young age but why on earth are we even thinking about donating to a person who has millions instead of donating to help the millions of people who don’t even have food to eat and roof above their heads.

Also , the trend of watching Netflix shows and being on Instagram the whole night is becoming really popular. People have started sacrificing their sleep for some petty reasons. When your friends brag about how they were awake till 5 AM watching Game Of Thrones, be happy that you didn’t give up your sleep for a show.

Everyone is busy following things and people that we ourselves don’t try to create trends that are much more sensible. Why don’t we create a trend of a 1 month challenge asking people to show the before and after picture of a place which was littered with dirt and now is clean with the efforts that they put in . Or we can create a craze for clothes whose creation involves providing employment to a lot of people. Or create a fashion for helping orphanages and old-age home by providing assistance in any form.

Over and Out

Views on issues

Our education system

As my class X Board Examinations are approaching, I often see people around me discussing about how they can get good marks in these examinations. No one talks about what they have actually learnt. All they care about is good grades.When I ask my classmates who scored decently in previous year’s examinations any question from the previous year’s syllabus they are seldom able to answer it. I blame such behaviour of students on our education system.

I say this because since the time we have started going to schools, all they teach us is that good grades are of utmost importance. They don’t teach the students to think diffrently, innovate and explore new things. All what they tell us to do is copy what is written on the board, mug up the entire syllabi and vomit what you have memorised on your answer sheet. Our education system solely focuses on rote learning.
Schools teach the same thing the same way to different students who different minds and different capabilities.Now if you tell a fish to climb a tree, it won’t be able to do so but if it is told to swim,it would excel in that. Similarly,every child has different capabilities and interests but our education system focuses on uniform learning for every child and then we wonder hasn’t any Indian won a nobel prize(apart from peace) from the time we have gotten independence.

Moreover in the name of education, we are taught outdated things. For example many of my own textbooks have been last updated way back in 2009. In this era of quickly changing world, many of the things taught 10 years back have become irrelevant but our system persists on outdated learning.

Another thing that I fail to understand is the necessity to maintain notebooks and practical files.I don’t see any point writing down the same things what are written in the textbooks once again in your own notebook.It is nothing but sheer and utter wastage of time. Forcing children to write down practical activities in a dedicated file but not allowing them to do the same activities in real life on their own makes no sense to me. And to all those who say that making notebooks and files improves handwriting,there is going to be no need of having a good handwriting in the fututre(atleast according to me) since everything is going to get computerized and digitalized.

I want to share my own personal experience to highlight one of the problems in our schools. So what happened is that one of my classmates asked a teacher a question which was out of the syllabus. Instead of answering it, the teacher said,” Focus on what is in your syllabus and not on what you don’t need to learn”. I mean this itself shows the pathetic condition of schools in India.

This type of education system has made the society toxic in a lot of ways. Whenever you go to any weddings or parties, all your relatives ask is how much did you score in your examinations. Parents have started comparing their kids to others’ kids on the basis of marks. They don’t encourage their wards to learn other skills but keep forcing them to study and that too not for knowledge but for marks.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, was not wrong when he said that Indians lack creativity.India ranks 66 out of 140 countries. This stat shows how far behind we are in the world in terms of creativity thanks to our education system and its effects.

I do agree that good marks show that you are dedicated to what you are doing show that you have good memory , and allow you to experience what it is like to be under pressure but the high level of importance that we give to marks in our country is unwanted and is something that needs change urgently.

Over and Out