While the world is busy pondering over whether Vidya Balan Is preggers or not, or why Kareena Kapoor won’t have lunch with Ajay Devgan or for that matter, did Sussane demand a 400 cr alimony from Hrithik, the core issues of the country struggle to stay afloat in the cacophony of the celebrity world. The first time I heard about the Vibgyor school incident in the news, it churned the pit of my stomach. Sometimes, when I am deeply affected by something, words fail me, and so do the thoughts. There is a numbness that sets in when the unbearable trauma of a six year old’s life makes headlines and way to protests, as the tormentors are yet to deserve their due (which should be death).
As a mother, I am worried. I am worried not just about my child’s safety, but about the trust between a parent and a school. Somewhere, the trust seems to have shaken even as these incidents keep happening in the larger pockets of the city. Even as we watch the news and convince ourselves, “Aah!! We live in a safe area. Our schools are good with security of children”, the conscience begs to differ on more occasions than one. And then, the world has come down to a level where I am supposed to make my three year old understand the difference between a good touch and a bad touch because the world out there has paedophiles lurking at every corner as known and unknown faces. To make a child understand such a thing is not impossible, but that tingling sensation of teaching a child what he or she need not necessarily know at such a tender age makes the job all the more rough. Last year, when we mothers had been called at the playschool to help us make our children aware of the good and the bad people, the session did not entirely make sense to me, as I felt the age2-6 yrs is way too small and children at this age need to enjoy more on nature’s lap, rather than comprehending about the not so good intentions of people and their actions. However, the recent incidents in so called developed cities convinces me that such sessions are imperative.
And, as far as schools are concerned, is there a clause that says “on paper” that it takes sole responsibility of a child in school? Children are not ‘cars that are parked at the owner’s risk’. If no, such a clause needs to be included mandatorily. Besides, as parents we need to subtly make our children understand the thin line of difference between a good touch and a bad touch. We need to ingrain the point to not respond in any which way to a stranger or an overly friendly acquaintance. Sometimes, it is not just the strangers but the known ones who camouflage their dark side with smiles and gifts. Most importantly, a child must be taught self defense techniques at an early age so that he uses them effectively to ward off people with bad intentions. Last but not the least, for a child’s safety, the first and the foremost thing to do, as parents we must help our children build an unconditional trust in us. When that happens, every other ‘tip to be safe’ falls in place.
The ‘age of innocence’ is long gone. It is the ‘age of awareness’ now. Let’s strive to make this world better by helping our children become strong mentally, physically and emotionally. Give time to your children. And as I end this post, there is an image that I came across on FB long back, aptly for all the parents, out there,