R. Subramaniam (name changed) is an auto driver. His daughter Jayashree. S (name changed) is a class X student at a state-run school in the neighbourhood. And he has a problem – the father-daughter relationship that is under stress.
And this on top of the financial burden brought about by the lockdown.
He says, “The lockdown has not been easy on us. I had just pawned some jewels a couple of months before the lockdown to buy an auto and had started driving it when the lockdown was announced. I have had no income for the past two months. My wife, a daily wage labourer, has not been able to work either. We have been living off the rice and provisions distributed at the ration shop.”
In this little house, the duo are coming to terms with a teenage child who is called to attend online classes and is not in the zone to do so.
Says Subramaniam, “The eight hours that my daughter spent at school everyday before the lockdown really helped as her teachers gave her good revisions there.”
The teen has seemingly stayed on in a holiday season, an extended one.
He continues, “She was doing well till the lockdown after which she seems to have gone into a holiday mood. We have been finding it very difficult to make her study at home. She seems very distracted. We do get lessons through WhatsApp but that is only for about an hour. After that, she doesn’t seem to be interested in sitting down with her books.”
Clearly, parents from the economically poor background are groping for answers in dealing with their kids.
Says Subramaniam, “If the exams had been held a few weeks after the schools re-opened, I would have been more confident of my daughter’s performance. Now I am not so sure.”