Youth show courage in face of adversity

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A youth selling tarpaulin sheets from the boot of his car on the outskirts of Panaji.

Despite the tragedies caused by the pandemic the human spirit remains alive. Beginning today The Navhind Times will bring to you stories of Goans who are meeting the pandemic challenges with courage, compassion and imagination

SHEIKH JAMALUDDIN | NT

Panaji

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating with many people at the risk of falling into extreme poverty.

                In Goa, the pandemic has impacted many individuals, who have lost their means of livelihood. Showing the way to others on how to stay strong and hopeful in the face of adversity, some youth, residing in and around Panaji, whose vocations have been interrupted have adopted new avenues to earn their livelihood in these difficult times.

Prior to the pandemic, the youth were generating sufficient income through various ways like operating taxis, running shops on lease, operating rent-a-bike business or working as salesperson. However, many have lost their livelihood now with the pandemic hitting them badly.

Taking up the challenge, these youth have switched over to businesses like selling fish, fruits, plastic products, seasonal products like raincoats and tarpaulin and even face masks to survive. The pressure of paying house rent, power and water bills and loan equated monthly instalments (EMIs) has compelled these youth to look for new avenues, thus making them innovative and imaginative.

“Earlier, many locals used to hire two-wheelers, rickshaws and even four-wheelers for ferrying children to schools and colleges. Besides, we had other customers apart from tourists,” said a youth, who ran vehicle rental business prior to the pandemic.   

Despite switching to new avenues, the youth, however, are unhappy with the restrictions imposed by the government, which, according to them, are creating hurdles in the conduct of their business.

“Restrictions are too many for the unemployed youth like ‘do not conduct business on roadside’, ‘do not obstruct public movement’, ‘do not be an obstacle for the free flow of traffic’. There is also a lot of harassment either from the municipalities, panchayats or police,” said one of the troubled youth.