By Nandini Ray:
It was not very long ago, when the school bells rang in the afternoon only to suggest that the day was over and it was time to pack your bags and rush back home. The innocent faces carried a smile on each one of them and made the older ones feel jealous (and still makes them so!) of the childhood that they lost long ago, promising never to return. But does childhood still hold its strong relationship with innocence, truthfulness, loveliness and all those beautiful words associated with it for long. Maybe almost five to six years back when I used to return home from school, the things which circulated in my mind was probably watch television, sleep, do my homework (quite rare though), play and… yeah that’s it. In fact, watching TV mostly consisted of cartoons, and being a girl, watching Power puff girls was always on my list; to be like Blossom always my dream and playing games never crossed the boundaries of my locality.
Time can not only bring a change in the society but also on the young minds that are prone to getting influenced very easily and too soon. All in the name of development and growth, these two words, under consideration cover all the aspects of the society and gradually bring every human being under their purview. Those sitting in the big governmental offices, with money and power by their side, certainly don’t give a damn about each of those human beings before making laws and resolutions to give relief to only a few of their masters. As the case with the TV and Film Censorship Board of India, the case of discontinuing of shows like Rakhi ka Swayamwar, Big Boss and other serials like Balika Vadhu have been taken seriously but only temporarily. Though as a precautionary measure, the timings of such shows have been manipulated into making them late night shows but still it doesn’t really make the child any less vulnerable to such serials. At this point of time, there comes an equal responsibility of the parents to make the child understand the pros and cons of watching such shows and help them in learning the better things in them.
When a child returns home from school, he/she is no more interested in taking a good nap nor is excited to meet its friends in the evening and have a good game of hide and seek or may be a ride on one of the swings or the slides in the park nearby. Instead, nowadays, as the school gets over, they would rather come out discussing about the latest Dexter series on Star World or make plans about meeting at one of the happening shopping malls in the evening with their parents (maybe?) and treat themselves each with a burger of the Happy Meal from the McDonalds outlet. Social networking, whose meaning we adults still have problems in figuring out, these 6 to 10 year old kids have got pat down, have their accounts made and probably have more friends added on their profile than ours. These are only few of the differences which have occurred over the last few years. These changes are supposed to be classified as developmental in the worldly context, but not in the case of children. As understood, these activities are generally kept away from the kids, not because it takes away the innocence from them, but because it causes an adverse affect on their psychology and their health in general. But don’t we relate the innocence in kids just because of their psychological behavior. Indeed, we do.
These psychological changes have caused a varied impact on these young minds and have exposed them to things about which they should not know, but even if they do know then it also becomes important to know the correct way of applying them, depending on the situations. Kids as young as six-year-olds are aware about the sexual differences between a girl and a boy and gradually they become curious to know about the body of the opposite sex. Certainly everybody should have such knowledge irrespective of the age, but more curiosity in the kids with little knowledge makes it a very harmful combination, since we all know that Little Knowledge is Dangerous.
Nowadays, while even browsing through the pages of a local newspaper, reading about the sexual harassment cases among school kids by their very own classmates and also cases of murders and suicides all in the name of friendship, love and other trivial matters like pens or a notebook have become an unsurprising sight, which wasn’t certainly prevalent a few years back. The kids are becoming prone to depression at such young ages only because of the complexities related to the race for development. In order to be the best, the pressure comes not only from the peers and parents but also the entire society in general.
The best ways to bring back the lost innocence in the kids is by keeping their life simple and easy and not make them a part of the race for development so early in their life. Let them enjoy and make the best use of their childhood, as like you, even their childhood won’t return back to make any changes.