Kids CornerMallika Ghosh

Essay Contest – Siya alias Shreya

How we seek our Mahatma to master and muster the strength during the Pandemic

Mahatma Gandhiji said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” The beautiful and warm world is now into a whirlwind of ambiguity with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everywhere, the governments are asking people to stay home, the so-called “lock down” going on for months, people succumb to emotional stress, depression, anxiety. How can we keep our mind stable and not lose sanity?

It is normal to be stressed as there is uncertainty about family, restricted movements, social distancing, and online meetings for work. We are not adjusting to just one factor but a load of factors. A book named “A paradise built in Hell” by Rebecca Solnit explains that in atypical circumstances such as natural disasters, it is natural to feel depressed. In a recent article in The Economic Times (dated 11th April 2020), many eminent Indian psychotherapists have pointed that we need a way to divert our attention either to a hobby or some positive contribution to the society that would bring a significant difference. Mental health also brings down the economy as people are not giving their best work in their offices. In an online study conducted by Qualtricsxm, it shows that more than half of the participants are anxious, feel sadness, and irritable while working in this situation. In the UK, a charity, Zero suicide alliance reported that more than half a million people had accessed their training program to prevent thoughts associated with suicide.

Why is this, and how can we fix this?

Now is the time we need to find the preaching of our Baapu and see how he was so strong against the mighty British and fought tirelessly to win independence. We need to learn from him as to how to be mentally and physically ready to end this pandemic. We have to be disciplined, do our routines on time, exercise, do yoga, and eat healthy food. Research has shown that people who exercise regularly have lower mental illness and better emotional well-being. It works by changing the level of stress hormones and results in an increase in energy levels. Meditation is another fantastic tool to relax. Exercise also improves our immunological functions by boosting the production of macrophages that would attack the microorganisms. Doctors recommend eating vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins and minerals to strengthen the immune system. Lemons, watermelons (along with seeds), garlic, and black raisins, are worth mentioning. Remember, health is wealth! If health is lost, you lose everything! Health is the quintessence of happiness and pivotal for the advancement of our country.

In our free time, we need to help our society and neighbors as we face the pandemic. As Gandhi said, “love is the strongest force the world possesses,” we need to work as a team, fellow citizens and help our country. We need to remind ourselves of these particular words “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you  stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” I am just a nine-year-old child having hopes for a healthy and happy world. It is possible when we all realize social responsibilities like staying home during the lock down, wearing masks when we go out, using hand sanitizer, and hand-washing when applicable. We need to terminate the spread of this virus. Our country is an agricultural country, employing half the workforce and ranking second in worldwide farm outputs. The coronavirus crisis has compounded difficult situations in many parts of the world, making it tough for farmers. With the mass exodus of migrant workers, they are not able to get it sold in the market, plus the closure of local markets, malls, and canteens have hit our farmers very hard. It, in turn, creates fear and despair.

The government has announced many reforms in the farm sector to aid the livestock farmers, fishing, medicinal plant, and vegetable growers. In the long term planning, we need to work on how to bring up our economy without the exploitation of human labor, by supporting economic freedom and equality. Many foreign nations are already planning on moving their production units from China to India, and this is a good sign for us to deal with unemployment. For this, we have to ensure we have the necessary infrastructure like highways, technical upgrading, high-skilled labor, and logistics. To quote Mr. Modiji’s appeal, “we need to be vocal about local.” By having these products made in our country, we aid in economic growth. Added, if we bring in the changes like sustainable water, energy, rural education, and training, we can benefit the society in many ways by creating lucrative jobs, better agricultural products, good health, and good citizens. If we do succeed, we can put a smile on many families in our country, thus finding the light at the end of the tunnel of these dark times. Let us face this challenge together with positive thoughts and speaking optimistic words. As Baapu said, let us not let anyone walk through our mind with dirty feet.

Jai Hind!!!

An article by Siya,

Siya alias Shreya is 9 and resides in IISER Pune campus along with her parents and her younger sister Riya. She is a student of grade 5, in Daffodil International School, Balewadi, Pune. In her free time, she studies western music, theory and practical courses by the Trinity College London Syllabus and is in Level 4, at MuziClub Pune and Hindustani Harmonium course with Gandharve Mahavidhyalaya, Pune.  Shreya is working towards a black belt with ShitoRyu Karate since 2018 and has won trophies. She is a skilled artist and her works and won national painting contest conducted by Indiaart. In school, she has secured many Olympiad medals and won the prestigious Student of the Year award.

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