India/August 10, 2020/https://www.newindianexpress.com/Express News Service/Source:
Just five months ago, Shiraj Nisha’s son was studying in a CBSE school where she was working as a teacher. It was smooth sailing for the mother-son duo until Covid took away one vital aspect of her life — her job. After losing her job in April, Nisha discontinued her son’s studies at a crucial stage
(ninth standard) and her landlord has been forcing her to vacate the house since she is unable to pay rent.
Nisha’s son was getting a 50% concession in his fee since she worked in the same school in Kolapakkam as an art and design teacher. However, in December, school authorities abruptly discontinued the concession. “I couldn’t afford the Rs 90,000 fee. So I told them I will look for a job elsewhere and put him in a matriculation school post-March.
But in February, the school authorities told me they would continue the fee concession and retain me,” she said. However, once the lockdown began, Nisha says her resignation was processed and she was asked to leave. “As the school authorities had told me to stay, I did not look for another job, and now, I am not getting a job anywhere,” she said.
She has been a single mother since he was three years old, and with her son in Class 9, she has now been forced to discontinue his education ‘temporarily’. “Schools ask at least Rs 15,000 for admission and I don’t have a penny. My mother and father are feeding us out of their savings. That too will not last for more than a month. I badly need a job. He keeps telling me that all of his friends are attending online classes and that breaks my heart,” said the 30-year-old.
“Since March, I have not paid rent and the landlord has been deducting the money from advance. But now, there’s nothing left and he is asking us to leave. With a personal loan to repay and no house to live, I have been numb for the past few days.” She hopes to survive for a few more days by selling off household items. This is yet another family that Covid has devastated.