Dharamshala: The Mental Health desk of the Department of Health (DOHe), CTA organised a drawing competition on the theme ‘My COVID-19 Story’ for children and essay competitions for teenagers and adults on the theme ‘My Reflections During COVID-19’.
The objective of holding these competitions was to understand the ways the pandemic has affected the lives and mental health of young people in the community and to discover their way of dealing with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and thereby providing them a platform where each of them receives an opportunity to reflect on their experiences during this pandemic.
The department received a total of 147 drawing submissions, 96 teenage and 40 adult essay submissions in both English and Tibetan.
Through the submission, it is realised that the pandemic has unexpectedly and covertly affected the lives of students from initial ecstasy of getting longer winter vacation to slow boredom sitting at home for months longing to go back to school and meet their friends. Some even survived the COVID-19, and many stuck in schools/colleges trying to look out for themselves and their own safety. Some of the young members of the community are COVID-19 warriors-selflessly risking their health for others’ welfare. From all these myriad experiences, it is evident the social support-be it from family, relatives, friends, and strangers have been the sole factor of relief and assuagement for all.
So were the online classes, bringing their school a little closer and giving a structure to their day. In all, this pandemic has given the students an opportunity to spend quality time with their families and have also made them reflect on themselves, their lives, and the world in general. A recurrent theme of feeling fearful, anxious, out of control but also grateful and resilient was noticed. Almost all the work concludes with a strong message of hope for the year to come.
It was a very difficult task for the judges to select the winners for each category as all submissions were outstanding and unique in their own ways. The department highly appreciates each participant and their parents for sharing their work and their personal stories during COVID-19.
This competition is supported by PRM.
The list of the winners are as following: