“My friends and I couldn’t give time at home before lockdown. We stayed out for a lot of reasons like tuitions, college, classes after college etc. Since the lockdown, we have managed to spend a lot of time with each other; a little too much if I can be honest!” says a gleeful 19 year old Anjuman, who is a volunteer and mentor with Apnalaya. Family members of youth have found a silver lining to the entire lockdown and Covid-19 situations in Shivaji Nagar as it ensures they spend a lot of time with family. “The children stay with us now and it feels so good! Usually we do not get to see their faces all day as they are out studying and then spending time with their friends!” says Farida, 42, from Shanti Nagar.
Some youth though, have not found time to relax or indulge in any fun activities for leisure, since they have a lot of studies and/or work from home. They really miss going out and spending time with their friends. “It gets very difficult to stay indoors, I really miss hanging out with my friends.” says Arman, also a youth volunteer with Apnalaya.
When asked what they do in their spare time for fun since the lockdown, a unanimous answer was Tik Toks and Ludo King. “Ludo king has surpassed Pubg and Tiktoks. We play that game all day long. It’s a lot of fun!” says Kulsum, who is also a School Saheli in Apnalaya’s program. “Tiktoks are still not so much fun without friends, but Ludo king has seen a surge in its fan club since the lockdown began,” says Anjuman.
One response that came from everyone was that they couldn’t wait for the lockdown to end so they could go out with their friends. “I really miss the outdoors,” says Arun, 24.
Life is difficult in Shivaji Nagar post the lockdown but the youth are finding their own ways to stay entertained. It is difficult, as all of them mentioned, but they’re all optimistic that this will end soon.
“The first thing I am going to do is take my best friends and go for a nice day out once this ends!” says Anjuman.