Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Not a child's play

-By Swetha Amit

While children’s day is being acclaimed every year on the 14th of November, it is ironical to notice the childhood factor being conspicuous by its gradual decline. That carefree stage in life which is reminisced fondly for some may sadly be devoid for the upcoming generation due to the competitive fast paced life and over dose of unnecessary awareness.

Few years back parks and the building compounds portrayed the playgrounds, carrying the musical titter of laughter and glee by children. This provided a soothing effect to those who were hassled with the pressures of existence and were immediately gifted with a faint smile on the wrinkles of turmoil. Sadly today children hardly indulge in those outdoor games anymore. Today’s parks are being converted into 'car' parks instead!!

Education seems to be a prime cause for the direct promotion into ‘grown up’ segment in both ways. Either millions being deprived of it due to the unfortunate stance of being orphaned or nestled into poverty leading to the horrendous and pitiable act of slaving or begging. Another instance is depicted by the brutal employment of such naïve souls in several factories which is termed as child labor. Fortunately the government has taken a strict measure to ban recruitment of children into the gruesome real world. It is a shame to see the youth of such individuals being robbed mercilessly out of their due right for their faultless state of being.

Another case is that of parents themselves indulging in mounting pressure right from the start and converting them into bookworms. It seems that the philosophy of ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is followed religiously. It is horrifying to see the children being stifled out of their free spirit. Right from tuitions to extra curricular activities, parents seem to want to prepare their kids for the future to face the cut throat competitive world. They fail to realize the importance of enjoyment during these crucial days and shove responsibility even before they are ready for it psychologically.

There are several cases where such selfish adults earn money through their kids which gives rise to the concept of child artists. Coercive acts by parents to be conscious of their appearance results in an unbearable load on these delicate little shoulders apart from fulfilling their star status in getting the first rank. Mounting expectations tend to rob the cheerful stature of these tiny tots which ultimately make them ‘grow up’ too quickly with unnecessary exposure.

Rapid technological advance though considered as a boon in many instances also turns out to be a bane especially in taking away the innocence from kids. The loads of all kinds of information available grips the awareness bug at a fast pace. This eradicates the ‘ignorance is bliss’ theory and instigates the curiosity and addiction levels which can hamper the healthy pace of growth for these little beings. Especially with the videos which carry material exclusively for the ‘adult’ segment alone.

Certain heinous acts by the so called suave adults cause a scar in more than one way which is deeply imbibed into these tender minds. The atrocity of the increasing rate of child abuse has flabbergasted millions. It is even more shocking to hear of such outrageous occurrences of incest within the circle of trust of family members. While there are more of these offensive acts done by perverts who are undoubtedly sick mentally they unfortunately ruin the mental state of being on these juvenile souls. Such victims tend to get entangled into the web of pessimism and a cynical mode instead of being exuberant. It is abhorrent to see such grave sins causing serious repercussions to the innocent.

Going by the above instances instigates one to adopt appropriate measures to help in preserving the childhood factor before it drowns into the quick sands of the queer sadism.
Parents need to develop a liberal style of giving their children the needed space and the breath of fresh air in the open instead of cooping them indoors. Encouraging them to slack a bit and enjoy their happy go lucky days would develop a healthier pace of personality development rather than the opposite approach.

As responsible citizens, many can undertake the noble cause of educating one needy child in this world. Tons of money being wasted away in all sorts of abuse and gambling can be utilized for the essential betterment of the society. It is heartening to see several corporates coming forward and devoting the time and resources for such causes.

Lastly, spreading the awareness of child sexual abuse and the punitive measures to those found guilty of this shameful act would reduce the disturbed feeling which snatches away the joy of existence. This would also remove the excess baggage of guilt carried throughout the developing years until it takes an unwarranted toll on them emotionally.

Seeing the above grim happenings would certainly make Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s heart bleed had he been alive and whose birthday was dedicated to his fondness for children. While it certainly isn’t a child’s play for us adults it’s important to act fast. After all, we do not want the world to turn into a zone of ‘no child’s play’, do we?

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