Hyderabad: 2 years on, families of COVID-19 victims still struggling

Hyderabad: Its been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc. The second wave of the pandemic, which hit the country a year ago, especially witnessed families aggrieved by the loss of their loved ones.

“If husband is gone, everything is gone. No job, no amount of money, nothing will compensate for the loss. I understood this in one year,” said Noorjahan, (35) a resident of Langer Houz, who lost her husband a year ago due to COVID-19. Since she is taking care of her four children aged between 9 years and 13 years.

Thankfully, a private company through its corporate social responsibility program came forward to support the education of the children. The company management paid the fees for the last academic year and assured to sponsor the education for the following academic year as well.

MS Education Academy

“I tried doing a job, but couldn’t find it as I am a SSC pass-out. Our life was good, my husband owned an auto repair workshop and earnings were anywhere above Rs. 35,000 a month. But after his death we were left with no source of income. Our relatives help us with some amount., through it we manage the household expenses,” said Noorjahan.

Another family that is struggling is that of Arifa, (33). Her younger daughter was around three months old when her husband, who had returned from UAE after facing the lockdown ordeal, passed away after getting infected with COVID-19 last Ramzan.

“I lost him in my arms. You understand how it feels to be without a person who was the world for you. Children often ask about him, and my entire family has stood with me since the tragedy. Help came from some NGO’s but many advised to take up tailoring, beautician and other vocational courses. The response is not encouraging and earning is not sufficient even to pay house rents,” she said.

Her three children study at a private school and the education is sponsored by an NGO.

Similarly, COVID-19 also has turned the life of Nusrath, a resident of Nallakunta, upside down. Her husband passed away in the month of May last year of COVID-19. Nusrath now stays with her three children aged 2 years, 8 years and 10 years with her parent’s house.

“Family members help me in running the household expenses. I did my B.Sc but cannot take a job because my daughter is young and children are emotionally and mentally disturbed a lot. There are moments when I find myself alone in situations, but slowly I am getting used to my new lifestyle,” he explained.

When asked if she intends to remarry, the woman said, “Which person will marry someone with three kids. It is a big responsibility and no one will shoulder it. My parents did try to find a match, but so far their efforts did not materialize”.

A senior journalist from the city, who covered the pandemic and also helped many of the victims through donations over the last two years, said a few corporate educational institutions came forward and assured to absorb the women in their organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“However, not all of them got the jobs. Moreover, with their children being very young, many women expressed their inability to take up jobs that have long working hours,” he added, not wanting to be named.

Another issue is also that self help programs of various NGO’s in Hyderabad are not tailored in a way to deal with all the situations that have cropped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only a handful of vocations are offered and even after opting for those, many women were unable to find jobs after that.

(All names in this story have been changed to protect the identities of the women. If any of our readers would like to help, please email to newsdesk@siasat.com)

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