POST COVID CHALLENGES – DR. ROOPA SHANKAR
The Covid-19 Pandemic, and the subsequent lockdown, led to a great upheaval in the normal routine of society. The Pandemic itself, and thereafter, even when it had been controlled to a large extent, the need for precautions and the imposition of the Covid Protocols, affected everyone, and the most affected were children.
The Girls’ High School, maintaining its credo of combining academic excellence with acquainting its students with relevant current topics, organized a seminar on “Post Covid Challenges”, for the parents of pre primary section on 19th August, 2022, for resolving the impact of various restrictions which had been imposed on children due to the Pandemic and its aftermath. Mrs. H. Verma led in prayer, invoking God’s Blessings on all present. The prayer was followed by Mrs. A. Roy introducing the Chief Guest, Dr. (Mrs.) Roopa Shankar.
Mrs. N. Dayal welcomed the Chief Guest and all present, and Mrs. N. Vaish presented a bouquet to her Dr. S. Agarwal, the school counselor, acquainted the gathering with the achievements of the Chief Guest, Dr. (Mrs.) Roopa Shankar, has been a child development counselor and on Early Childhood facilitator for the past three decades. She has had a distinguished career, and gained experience in various aspects of counseling, with emphasis on children’s problems.
She was the Founder and Head of the facility for early childhood education called ‘Little Scholars’, from 1992 till 2020. During this period, she has counseled children, adolescents, parents, grandparents and family members, and has addressed concerns related to mental health, disagreement of adolescents with parents, identity crises, single parenting, joint family diverse views,
and other similar topics. Dr. Shankar’s research on human responses, under the impact of Sattva Guna (wisdom and knowledge) Rajas Guna (action and ambition) and Tamas guna (ignorance and delusion) have been corner stones of her commendable contribution to this specialized field.
In the Seminar held in the GHS, the Chief Guest spoke on myriad aspects of the need to care for the mental health of children. She emphasized on the importance of the Foundational Stage, which finds mention in The New Education Policy (NEP), as the mind of children experience maximum development at this stage. She stressed on the need for proper nutrition to be provided to children as lack of it would impair mental growth.
Dr. Shankar spoke about Age Appropriate Development, and the regrettable fact that due to the pandemic restrictions, children could not interact with others, and were thereby deprived of the opportunity, to develop their natural social skills, of caring and sharing. She also rued the lack of routine and exercise, since restricted movement compelled the children to spend more time on the internet, or on their mobile phones. This deviation from the normal routine conducive to physical health, led to eye disorders and sleeping pattern issues. Another aspect which must be accorded priority, according to Dr. Shankar, was the need to explain to the children the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch” and this was the responsibility of parents and teachers alike. Dr. Shankar emphasized that parents must be sensitive to any deviation in their children’s behavior, (red flags) and address the same immediately, by interacting with them. She also spoke about the importance of healthy food habits. The Seminar was a great success, and those present appreciated the knowledge they had gleaned by the talk delivered by the erudite Chief Guest. The Seminarconcluded by a vote of thanks, proposed by Mrs. N. Vaish.