A study released by non-governmental organisation Population Foundation of India on Wednesday to assess the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown revealed that one in every four adolescents in Uttar Pradesh has experienced depression and six of 10 students felt anxious over their inability to find jobs.

The study found that 68% of respondents in Uttar Pradesh reported an increase in social media use during the lockdown. Among those depressed, the social media usage was at 92%. “A small fraction of the total respondents reported feelings of depression, and frustration or irritability but there was a coincidence whereby a greater number of those feeling depressed or frustrated and irritable also reported an uptick in the TV and social media consumption during the lockdown,” it said.

Increase in domestic workload was also one of the major challenges faced by young people, according to PFI. “Expectedly, more females than males reported an increase in their domestic workload,” it added.

India on Wednesday reported 60,963 cases in 24 hours, taking the overall tally of the country to 23,29,639. The toll rose by 834 to 46,091. As many as 56,110 more people recovered, taking the total number of discharged cases to 16,39,599.

Globally, coronavirus has infected more than 2.03 crore people, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The worldwide toll has risen to 7,42,035. More than 1.26 crore people have recovered.

Half of world’s youth subject to anxiety, depression: ILO survey

Another survey released by the International Labour Organization on Tuesday said that young people, aged between 18 and 29, are at the risk of suffering severe and long-term adverse impact of the pandemic. It also revealed that half of the world’s youth population are subject to circumstances that can trigger anxiety or depression while one-third are uncertain of their future.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives. Even before the onset of the crisis, the social and economic integration of young people was an ongoing challenge,” the report said. “Now, unless urgent action is taken, young people are likely to suffer severe and long-lasting impacts from the pandemic.”

The organisation’s “Youth and COVID-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being” survey aimed to understand the immediate effects of the pandemic on the lives of young people with regard to employment, education, mental health, rights and social activism. The survey was conducted in April-May across 112 countries. Of the 12,000-plus respondents, most were educated with access to internet.

The survey found that about 50% of young people across the globe are subject to anxiety or depression, while 17% are potentially affected by it. Young people whose education or work was either disrupted or halted were almost twice as likely to be affected by anxiety/depression as compared to those who continued to be employed or whose education was not hampered.

“Severe disruption to learning and working, compounded by the health crisis, has seen a deterioration in young people’s mental well-being,” the survey said. Mental well-being is lowest for young women and those aged 18 and 24 years.

The pandemic saw a paradigm shift to online teaching. However, the survey revealed that one in eight young people (13% approximately) did not have access to courses, teaching or training because of the digital divide. Most of these people belonged to low-income countries. Almost 65% of the respondents said they have learnt less since the pandemic began.

According to the report, 38% of young people are uncertain of their future career prospects. The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to young workers. The survey found that one in six youths (about 17%) had to stop work since the virus outbreak. About 42% reported a sharp drop in their income.

“The pandemic is inflicting multiple shocks on young people,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said. “It is not only destroying their jobs and employment prospects, but also disrupting their education and training and having a serious impact on their mental well-being.”

Also read:

Indian education can’t go online – only 8% of homes with young members have computer with net link