Keeping Ourselves Enlightened In The Lockdown

By Abid Hussain Rather

The year of 2020 has been unpredictable, unexpectable, discomfortable and perturbable. It has frozen our progress and development.  It has shattered the strongest economies of the world. Millions of people have lost their jobs across the globe. Educational institutions, business centers, entertainment hubs, tourist destination have been closed due to the pandemic. The lockdown due to the pandemic has badly hit each and every aspect of life in every corner of the world. The story of our country is not different. Though the graph is again slowly trending towards positive notes but it has drastically affected the people of every field here. According to government reports, due to pandemic the India’s growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 fiscal went down to 3.1%. During the lockdown almost 140 million people lost their jobs in our country.  According to UNICEF,  Covid-19 and lockdown in India has impacted 247 million children enrolled in elementary and secondary education. The loss in other sectors is not different. There has been a break off in teaching learning,  knowledge acquiring and research activities across the whole country. 
Stakeholders, intellectuals and resource persons from different fields have come up with new ideas and thoughts, new concepts, new opinions and new models to cope up with the lockdown and minimize the loss. In some arenas  people are being asked to work in shifts. Virtual modes, wherever possible, are being used to replace the real ones to minimize social gatherings. Some people are working through online modes from their homes for their companies and offices. In this pandemic situation internet has been proved to be a blessing. Though it has not been able to completely replace the actual mode of work culture but It has helped us to a larger extent to cope up with the lockdown and minimize our losses due to it.
As all the educational institutions have been closed from last six months, the teachers have shifted to virtual methods of teaching using different platforms. Akin to cessation in teaching learning process, there has been a prohibition on the organization of different conferences, seminars and workshops due to the fear of Covid-19 spread. So there has been a shift towards online conferences (web conferences), online meetings (web meetings) and online seminars (webinars). Webinar is simply an occasion when a group of people go online at the same time using some online platform to study or discuss something.  In simpler terms webinar is a seminar conducted online. It allows us to host a virtual meeting without the need to find a suitable physical venue. Various organizations and  institution are organizing webinars on different subjects, different motifs and different topics almost everyday using different social platforms like Zoom Meetings, Google Meet, Cisco Webex Meetings etc. They invite different resource persons and experts to deliver their speeches on different issues. These webinars can be very fruitful and beneficial during lockdown period. They can abet us keeping ourselves enlightened in these pandemic conditions. So it is benignant for students, teachers, research scholars as well as people from other fields to participate in these webinars to keep themselves up to date as most of us remain indoors nowadays due to lockdown.  Students who are preparing for various competitive examination can avail the opportunity to give a boost to their knowledge through these webinars. It is costless to attend these webinars as we don’t need to pay any fees for participating in most of these webinars neither we need to travel to a particular venue. Rather we can participate in these webinars from our homes by using our smartphones installed with different online meeting applications like Zoom Meetings, Cisco Webex Meetings etc. But the first and foremost requirement is to register ourselves for different webinars organized by different institutions and organizations across the country. Everyday a number of webinars are conducted and we can participate in different webinars each day depending upon the availability and flexibility of our time. We can get information regarding the organization of various national and international webinars from many sources like websites of different institutions. There are various groups, pages and channels on different social sites mainly on Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Instagram which give information regarding  webinars. 
Besides acquiring knowledge and enlightening ourselves from these webinars; the organizers of these webinars award e – certificates to the participants which can prove profitable to a person in future course of time. So it is prudent to take part in these webinars for our enlightenment, awareness and apprising. In the end, our sole purpose of participation in these webinars should not be only to receive certificates, rather our inclination should be more towards edification of ourselves.
(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at