This is not a post to commemorate children’s day. It is the aftermath of the day which is celebrated with fervour remembering the child, one gets all the messages, social media bombards us and then the papers also remind us in black and white. You read about the first PM bday and him being called fondly Chacha Nehru, and then the memes start pouring in.
Where do we all live? So far, far away from reality trapped like birds in a cage in this virtual world, scrolling away and tapping away to people far away. I had the most disturbing encounters today while teaching a motley crew of children. One young boy walked in late and his expression was so sad. He was literally in tears and he kept on mumbling that his chappal broke. The poor kid’s chappal strap had come out, you know the rubber chappal, and the strap that comes out. He was embarrassed and forlorn, didn’t know where to look and he wouldn’t look up from his place. I offered him biscuits, he took them but kept on muttering. On the other hand, were two couple of girls who put the packet inside their bags.
When I asked them why did they do this? They said shyly that they were taking it home. When I probed more they said it would be lunch tomorrow.
I had tears in my eyes. The mid-day meal, the books promised, the propaganda, the histrionics, the posturing by ministers, politicians, the statements made; do they all hold? Does anyone ever check? Why is that we have a jaag uttha insaan only when there are elections around the corner or we have a national day ?
It’s as if the publicity department goes into overdrive and starts doing its work so that it can justify its existence!
Agreed, we have made progress and change is happening but is it in the magnitude of what and where we are. Can we spread more genuine smiles? Can we all collectively pledge to help the children who are our future? We all worry about the future, the environment and what we are leaving for our kids? Is it the child that is home that matters, or the one that is on the street also? Shouldn’t it be the same, the same priority as our children? The impact of poverty in our children in India is 30 per cent ie there are 385 million children live in extreme poverty across the world, and India is home to 30 per cent the highest in South Asia. This is a domino effect, children are more than twice likely to live in extreme poverty as adults.
I wish we could have a magic wand to do away the poverty, to have a world where no one needs to hide biscuits for the next day lunch or where a child feels sheepish and his confidence is undermined when he doesn’t have proper footwear. When one is growing up little things are as big as mountains and they take over everything. It only when we are maturer, older do they lose their significance but the scar remains. A movie that is being played in the theatre’s highlights how being dark in complexion causes trauma to a young girl.
We are a cruel cruel world. If we try, we all can make a difference. In the morning, I read about ‘the butterfly effect’. It says that while you exist, every moment, every movement matters. The change will come, even if you’re standing still. Butterflies will keep flapping their wings and cause hurricanes. So, make your choices and make them loud. Stay and make choices, for bad ones stay. Stay for great ones. Stay and cause a few hurricanes.
So make the conscious choice and change the world and make a difference for the children around you.