Twenty four percent parents report rise in scolding or punishment of children since Covid-19, reveals study

Twenty four percent parents report rise in scolding or punishment of children since Covid-19, reveals study

29 Jun    Finance News

According to a Rapid Need Assessment carried out by ‘Save the Children-Bal Raksha Bharat’, 24% surveyed parents feel there is an increase in instances of scolding or punishment to children since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, which is reportedly maximum in Delhi and minimum in Madhya Pradesh.

The findings related to the mental health of children in the last 18 months (June 2020 to December 2021) reveal that most of the children (39%) were worried about death, illness, separation of a loved one, or fear of disease. Feelings of loneliness (27%) and disturbed sleep (26%) was also reported, and being in physical fights was also reported by one-fifth of children (20%).

The study has focused on key areas such as education, health, nutrition, poverty, inclusion, and child protection. A total of 4,052 respondents, including 2,743 adults and 1,309 adolescents, spread across 24 districts in six states — Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam — were interviewed for the study.

“Among the surveyed parents, the maximum 46% of parents in Delhi felt increased instances of scolding or punishment to children since the pandemic outbreak. The parents’ perceptions on probable risks to children during Covid-19 indicate that ‘Parents’ absence from home during Covid or lockdown due to any reason’ to be most risky (77%) and ‘Girl child taking up more household chores during Covid or lockdown’ to be least risky (56%). The most sensitised proportion of caregivers belonged to Maharashtra and least from Assam,” the report said.

About 44% of children reported that they could not share their sorrow, anger, stress-related feelings with anyone, and three out of four children could not share serious concerns such as domestic or spousal violence with anyone.

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“State wise, feelings of loneliness (59%) and worries about death, illness, separation, or disease (83%) was maximum in Karnataka, whereas disturbed sleep patterns was majorly reported in Delhi (51%) and physical fighting was maximum in Jharkhand (42%),” the report added.

In an indirect inquiry on child abuse, parents observed changes in their children’s behaviour in terms of ‘abnormal interest about sex or genitals’ (12%), ‘fear of being left alone with a given person (27%), ‘sudden emotional or behavioural change’ (27%), ‘abandonment of previous play habits’ (29%), ‘genital/anal injuries’ (15%) and ‘interest in age-inappropriate content online’ (25%), the report said.

A little less than one-third (29%) adolescent girls could not access any kind of adolescent, reproductive and sexual health (ARSH) related information during the pandemic, with Karnataka (92%) being most impacted and Jharkhand (one percent) along with Delhi (one precent) being least impacted.

About five percent of adolescent girls and women could not access sanitary napkins in times of need (June 2020 to December 2021) by any means, with highest being 15% in Madhya Pradesh.

“Overall, around 88% households (highest in Madhya Pradesh-100 per cent and least in Delhi-69 per cent) faced one or other kind of problem(s) to get sanitary napkins. Of those who faced problems, the top three challenges were inability to visit shop (33%), non-availability of product in shop (32%) and lack of enough money to buy product (30%),” the report added.

With inputs from PTI.

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