Thursday, March 31, 2011

Children becoming mature before time

It can be observed very often that when a friend or relative visits a family in which there are some kids, they are introduced to the guests which is quite natural.The introduction does not end by name etc., but goes beyond that. The parents of the kids want the child  to interact with guests and they take pride in telling many things about the child to the guests. Not only this, the poems  learnt at school by the kids, their work of art and craft,achievements in music or dance,computer proficiency and the list is long, are also discussed. The children are not that much involved in that but they follow the instructions of the parents and exhibit their talent in front of the guests. Now the question is why do the parents do it?
Many a times ,we come across cases where children of particular age group talk and discuss things which are  beyond their comprehension. This  leads to another question : Are children becoming mature before time?
The nature has balanced everything and the development of human beings, living and non living beings  is also well defined.This is known to all that  the men  has tried to disturb the natural development of vegetables and fruits etc., by using artificial methods and most of the  vegetables and fruits sold in the market are made to grow fast by administering some chemical by means of an injection. These vegetables may grow faster and bigger and people can earn more money quickly but the quality of the products will not be good which will ultimately harm the one for whom this is being produced.
The educationist and thinkers must have considered lot many things and factors  when they framed age equivalent learning of the child and  and  the same for higher classes as well. It is always advocated that the kids should be allowed to grow naturally and no external factor should disturb the natural growth of the children.
But what is being watched on TV and many examples like the one mentioned in the beginning of the article is not a good sign. In the name of reality shows, small children are being forced to perform those acts for which they are not mature enough. All might remember the case of a girl who became bedridden due to excess practice and psychological disturbance faced by her during the show. There was some concern shown by everyone including the government but no  firm steps have been taken to stop the occurrence of such incidents and save the childhood of the children. Nowadays small children are made to go to one or the other play school without realising that it might do more harm to them than good. There may be some compulsive reasons for the parents to do this but it does not do much good to the kids.When parents are advised not to do so, the argument is that if they do not send their child to the play school their child will lag behind and would not be able to perform as well as the other children can do. This thinking has made the parents to expose their child to an unknown environment. Not only this the small kids of age two onwards are sent to the hobby classes also without realising that this is against the natural growth of the child.The small kids are forced to remember the poems told by the teachers or the parents. One example shall clarify this point. During one of the interactions between the head of a school and the parents of the children of pre-primary classes, regarding the issues faced by the parents at home;The mother of a child says that her son (who was three years old)does not follow the instructions of his dance coach. The steps require the counting up to twelve or thirteen and he would not do more than ten steps. Her question was ,what should be done to make the child disciplined and follow the instruction of the coach? The teacher  told the mother that as the child has learnt the counting up to ten only that is why he can not follow the counting after that and he should not be forced to do so. This is not an isolated case and there are many children who are forced to do things which are not their age equivalent. There may be some exceptional cases where the child may perform certain things which are not expected from that particular age group child ,but this can not be generalised and every child should not be forced to do that.
The comparison between two children is not good and all children should be treated as individual who has his/her own identity. The two kids even in the same family have different aptitude and potential than the other .They should not be forced to become mature before time otherwise it may cause problem at later stage.It is disturbing when even during vacation period they are enrolled in different summer courses and not allowed to be at their own. Again there may be some compulsive reasons for doing that but all may feel good today when the child behave in so called very mature manner but the same child may not stand up to the expectations of the parents when really required. The parents should avoid forcing their own expectations on their children.
Let us not kill their childhood in the name of making their future. Future would be enjoyed by them if they are allowed to grow naturally and are not forced to become mature before time. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Advertisement-Effect on impressionable mind

How can electronic media and print media affect a cause or incident was very much proved by the hype the world cup semi final got on 30th March 2011. Almost all offices were closed before time and people,old or young glued to the TV sets.This has not happened for the first time because in our country most of the times emotions become very powerful and the same is exploited by the market driven forces. It is right that this was a very important match between the two arch rivals but this was just another match for both the teams. It has been reported in newspapers that the tickets were sold in black and the rent of hotels and air fare went up many folds.The whole nation got united for one cause and the cause was that Indian team was playing against the Pakistani team.Would it have been the same hype if it was some other team than Pakistan? Does it not prove how emotional Indian people are and how easily these emotions can be exploited? Many may not agree with this and that is perfectly all right.The impact of media is so well depicted in the case mentioned above.
The advertisements have become an integral part of the newspapers,magazines and electronic media.Many of the newspapers have, at times, more advertisement than the news.On TV also a lot of time has been given for advertisement slot.It was reported in the newspapers that the TV channel which was the official broadcaster of the ICC world cup 2011, hiked the rates of the advertisements almost 10 to 50 times.It is true that newspapers and the TV are very important tools to make other people(consumer) aware about the product so that those who need to purchase one, can do so. Also every one has a right to tell about the quality of the products known to the consumer. As it happened with almost everything the same was the case with ads . The initial idea or the basic reason was always good but later on it got distorted. We can not forget the war of words between two giants of soft drinks who hold maximum share in the market in that trade. The people got confused who was right and who was wrong.Initially advertisements were believed by the people like the news items in the newspapers, but in the last decade or so that belief is getting reduced. The reason is that in some cases the product shown/mentioned and its quality both are exaggerated so much that there is no similarity between what is showcased and the real product. Not only this ,some of the products are shown in a manner that people do not remember the quality of the products but the action of the models or the actors. In the name of creativity and innovation the visuals shown and the content are so negative and at times vulgar as well, that it can not be viewed along with the family members .
Let us take  few examples of the ads being aired nowadays. In one advertisement a girl child is sitting with other family members and probably it is dinner time. She has the chocolate bar of one particular brand and the elderly lady, may be her grandmother, asks about sweets. She looks at the girl who is having the bar  and wants that the girl should share the same with her. The girl says no  rather puts the bar in her mouth so that now, nobody asks her to share the same. The grandmother still asks for chocolate and the girl again says no and she does not share it with her grandmother. The other lady brings more pieces of the chocolates. Now the question is that will it not have a negative  impact on  young kids? Will they not learn that it is legitimate not to share the things with other family members? Will it not make them selfish in nature? The other example is of an ad of mobile phone in which two young men are talking of their female friend and discuss about certain clues regarding her. Many of the things are found similar and they are shown to be worried because they feel this is the same girl. Then at last, the colour of the mobile instrument is discussed which happens to be different and then both young men take a sigh of relief.What has been shown here is that you can deceive your male friends by changing the colours of the mobile.Is it a good lesson to be learnt by any one?
There are many such examples in which the women have been depicted in a negative manner which every body notices every day but no body raises a voice against them. Take the case of the accessories,soaps perfumes or other items in which women are not shown in a dignified way. It can be argued that ads are for the promotion of the products and not educating the people. True but the impact of the visuals and words can not be ignored which can have ever lasting impact on the mind of the people particularly the small kids. This is so evident in the behaviour of the children in daily life at homes and in the schools.
This is right that ads are an important way of commercializing a product and electronic and print media play most powerful and convenient way of doing that but ,impact of the contents used and the visuals should be taken care of.In the name of making the ads eye catching and creative, vulgarity should not be provided to readers and viewers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our elders-The most important source of experience and knowledge

Our country has progressed well in the last six -seven decades and the citizens have been able to overcome many problems faced by them.It could be possible due to honest efforts of all concerned. Old and young  both have contributed in the progress to the best of their ability.Now a days, everybody is taking of the immense energy and potential possessed by the youth and it is believed that they can change the future of the country for the better. A lot is being talked about it and many schemes and programmes have been launched for the welfare of the youth.It is very true that today`s youth is the future of this country, but the old brigade should also be paid due attention and should be given the place they deserve.
It is disgraceful to read in the newspapers that the old couple was not given proper food and other essential things needed by them ,by their children. There have been cases where the young sons and daughters consider their parents and grandparents as a kind interference in their daily life and feel like they are hurdles in their progress. Nobody should forget that whatever he/she is today, there has been an immense contribution of elders like parents and grandparents.The sacrifice made by the parents should always be remembered by the children.The mother never cares about her own health (even if it is a serious problem) but the the simple problem of the child  is taken by her very seriously. She makes all possible things available to the child.They(parents) do not do this during the childhood only, but continue doing the same even after their sons and daughters are able to  take care of themselves without any support. While doing that they do not have any expectations from their children except that the children do well in life. In some cases ,when the children show indifferent attitude towards the parents and are advised by others to look after their parents because when the sons and daughters needed their help, it was provided by the parents unconditionally.Many a times the response from youth would be that it was their duty to do that for them. But in that case why should youth not remember their duty?
Both, old and young, are complementary to each other and living in isolation would not lead to a happy situation.The youth has energy which can do wonders for the human beings and the environment but if not channelised and used properly can be a problem also. Here the role of the old people becomes very important.The experience of life should be shared with young generation by the old people.The energy of youth and experience and knowledge of old people when combined will lead to the growth of the family, society and the nation.The government alone would not be able to do much for senior citizens but the youth can do a lot for them. The senior citizens should not be considered as burden but should be treated well and should be made to feel that youth needs them. The senior citizens act as a dam which makes the proper use of the energy and also control immense amount of energy which may otherwise prove to be very dangerous if not controlled and channelised properly.
It is unfortunate when courts have to come in picture asking the son/sons to look after their parents. It should be done by the people on their own.Take a case where the young couple stays alone with one or two children.The parents of the youth live somewhere else(now a days they are  heading towards old age homes).The young couple is deprived of the advice or help they might have got from their parents.Not only the young couple but also the young kids are deprived the of love and affection of their grand parents. It has been observed that in the families where elders are given due respect and the place they deserve, there is no need of any value or moral education. Most of the kids who are fortunate to have their grandparents around them, progress more than others(exceptions are always there).Parents and grandparents are the ones who always pray for the welfare of their children. It is rightly said that there is no need of going to religious places if the elders are treated well at home. Respecting them will make youth more happy than going to any temple or mosque.This has been the culture of this great nation and it should not be allowed to dilute. Though the problems faced by the youth are also many but these problems should not become an excuse. This is true that bigger cities have smaller houses  but the hearts of the people should be large enough.
At last, There is a quote written on the walls of a temple in which a young lady is asked" If you want your son to act as Sharawn Kumar , then encourage your husband to act as Sharwan Kumar today" It says every thing that if young people want to be heard and looked after by their children , they should do the same to their parents and set an example for the next generation to follow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Discipline-A key to success

What happened in Japan on 11th march 2011 was one of the worst natural disaster in the recent past. The people of Japan will take long time to come out the tragedy. Whatever has happened can not be undone but at the same time the brave people of Japan have taught many lessons to the world such as, how to act and react during and after such unfortunate incidents. As per the newspaper reports the citizens of Japan behaved very responsibly and there was not much of panic.It has been reported that though the people were without food and water for days but there was no cry against the system or the government. When food and other essential commodities were distributed the people were standing in queues and waiting for their turn.Even  the items purchased  from the shops were taken in limited  quantity so that enough was left for other citizens also. The employees and other volunteers kept working in the damaged nuclear plants despite the fact that they knew of the dangers to their life.This explains how could Japanese reach to the the level of progress after the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
This teaches a lesson to everyone about the importance of the discipline in life.If there is no discipline than challenges will arise everywhere.Then what is discipline and its role in the life of an individual and the society? Discipline can be considered as doing things as per the expected norms of the life and rules set by the society.The nature is the best example of discipline.Every thing happens as per the set pattern and whenever something is done against that , the consequences are usually not good.There systems and procedures are decided and set by the society and governments keeping in mind the welfare of the people of that country.There are norms and procedures in all organisations and similarly in schools and colleges also . The countries and the organisations where people live a disciplined life and follow rules and regulations, they witness a rapid progress and most of them are happy. Discipline is important in every walk of life but it is most important in the life of a student particularly school going children because basics of the life are learned by them in the schools.It has been observed that whenever any problem arises in the society, the people  ask that particular problem or issue to be included in school curriculum as a subject. Be it traffic rules, environment safety,pollution control, water conservation, energy conservation, peace, terrorism and many more such problems.It is done because everyone feels that children should learn and take care of such issues in future.But the most important thing  which seems to be ignored is: discipline which the children can learn in the schools . Certain incidents which have been reported in the newspapers in the last few years are very disturbing.The level of the discipline appears to be diminishing and that is affecting the child's over all progress.The exact consequences of that may not be realised by the people now but the repercussions are not going to be good for the society and the nation in future.In the name of freedom of doing anything and the freedom of speech, discipline should not be pushed in a corner.It is true that individuals must be allowed for the safety of their own dignity but that should not be done at the cost of others dignity.Take the example of the body. If any of the organ or the part of the body gets upset or damaged the whole body gets disturbed.In this the damaged part should be looked after well but not at the cost of the whole body. If some surgery is required that should be done otherwise for the sake of one part, the whole body might get damaged.And that is why rules and regulations should be decided keeping in mind not only an individual but the whole group or the society. Once this is done then everybody should follow that and those not following should be dealt with as per the law of the land.Most of the people in an organisation or a country  want to be disciplined but there will always be a few who would try to defy the rules and break them. In this case the law should be enforced effectively so that those who are disciplined are encouraged and the other lot is made to follow the rules. It has been observed that that if you do not take any action against indiscipline then other people also start resorting to the same means and the number of people not following rules will increase .An example will clarify this point. When some one from India visits Singapore or any country in Europe he/ she follows the rules of that country. Like the people will always stand in line,car and bus drivers will stop on zebra crossing if they see some one crossing or trying to cross the road. No body will spit on the roads and  litter here and there. If all do that in those countries including the Indians then why the same does not happen in India?
The answer is well known to all but not many are ready to take initiative and that is the reason the voice of the people who are really wanting to do some thing for the country goes unheard. It has been experienced that many a times there are individuals and groups who come and disturb the people wanting to do things in disciplined manner and go Scot free This should be stopped so that the number of the people doing good do not decrease.
If a sustainable growth of the country is expected ,then the citizens of the country should be disciplined.For that the children at home and schools should be taught the lesson of discipline not only by words but by actions too. If all in the family and the society will lead a disciplined life then the children will automatically learn that and the countrymen will not have to learn this lesson from the citizens of other countries.Let discipline not be taken  as a punishment but a tool to live and let others live a peaceful life.  

Friday, March 25, 2011

Role of parents and society-For the child and the teacher

This is rightly said that child is the father of man and it can be seen in many a cases that thinking of the parents change ( for the good) on arrival of a kid in the family.The child as well as the parents affect the life of each other and this is also equally true that the role of the teacher and the society gains importance in the life and upbringing of the children. Thinking and the attitude of parents is the first impact on the mind of child which is carried by him/her life long. Then the role of teachers becomes very important and it is the teacher who can make all the difference in the life of a child.
To do that teachers can not work in isolation but hand in hand with parents and the society. It is absolutely true that parents and the teachers consider the child`s welfare and the well being the most important activity of their life. They are ready to do every thing possible for the children and assure them of a good future. The expectations of the society from the parents as well as the teachers are on similar lines. But the question asked is-what is the meaning of education? Is education understood by parents and teachers  only to make a child worth earning livelihood or  it is the tool to live the life to help all people around him? To earn money is important and also necessary but that should not be the only motive and objective of education.
In earlier times the teacher were paid respect not because they were teachers but also because  they were away from the materialistic things.There is one incident in Mahabharat that when Guru Dron`s son was crying for the milk, his mother gave him water mixed with wheat flour. It shows that despite Guru Dron being one of the most respected person in Hastinapur he never thought in terms of money and materialistic things.The time has changed, which is very natural and the people can not remain unaffected by this change. The relationships which were considered very pious and pure in nature have also been affected by the money factor.Most of the people are in the race of accumulating the wealth and at times this is done by using unfair means also.No body approves that directly but not much is being done to stop that.
But one thing which remains unchanged is the expectations from  teachers and the role to be played by them. They are still considered to be the role model for the children and the society. But can the teachers work or exist in isolation? Are they not the part of the same society in which the thinking and attitude towards life has changed so fast?
A recently released  film " Do Duni Char" reflects on the life of a teacher, in which he is shown like the one who is not expected to provide the basic things to his family what other people can do. But at the same time one character attribute in which a parents want the child to be promoted by the teacher ,which the teacher denies because he had never done it before, describes his committment and determination.The parent says" Master ji hum to mithai banate hai kharab ban gayee to koi baat nanhi parantu aap to jindgi banate ho aap woh kharab nahin kar sakte." Meaning there by that a sweetmeat  seller prepares sweets only, if some of them are not prepared well then it will not affect much, but  a teacher moulds the life and future of the child and he/ she can not afford to commit  a mistake. This speaks of the volume of the responsibility of the teacher. But as mentioned earlier the teacher alone will not be able to fulfil this responsibility until supported by the parents and the society. They will have to repose faith and confidence on the teacher and take his advice with positive mindset and not against anybody. the teacher is expected to be given that respect and the proper place in the society which they deserve. This will be good for the children,parents and the society as well. If that will happen then only parents will motivate and allow their children to become teachers in future and the children will also think the same way. It is not the money only which drives the children away from this important assignment but the major factor is that the children are not made aware of the pious role played by the teachers. A group of students student had spoken to their principal that in the name of not saying any thing to the children are the children not being allowed to be indisciplined . They themselves told that until the teachers are respected ,then why would somebody think of becoming a teacher, if there would be other options available to him? It has been observed that at times the parents talk to the teachers in a rude manner even in the presence of the child which does not help the child to develop positive attitude towards the teacher.The parents are expected to convey their feelings to the teachers but that should be done in a dignified manner. It is very important issue and should be debated so that children are in the care of the best of the teachers. Deserving teachers should be appreciated and encouraged and odd cases should not be portrayed as a blot on the whole of the teaching community . There may be few cases where the teacher does not behave as expected but that can not be generalized. Let the deserving teachers be given due respect and the place they deserve in the society.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teacher`s role in individual child`s growth

In the ancient times the parents and the society considered the place of Guru higher than anybody else. Even the kings and other rulers used to respect the Acharyas and  teachers more than their ministers.In any meeting the guru was the last to enter, and all present in the meeting hall (durbar) will pay respect to him by standing at their places. A Great Poet and thinker compared teacher with God when he wrote his famous lines "Guru Govind --kisko lago panov" and the lines are self explanatory. There are many examples which prove that role of a teacher is the most significant in the life of a child. One inspiring incident that raised the status of a teacher, is that of a boy who sent an invitation to his old teacher on the occasion of his marriage. He wrote that the teacher would be sitting and performing all the rituals what his mother was supposed to do. The teacher tried to recall the person and after some serious deliberations she could recognise him and went back to the early days of her teaching when she used to teach in a primary school. She could recollect the whole incident of early years of the child and her initial observation and  interaction with the  grown up person ,who became a successful human being and was now getting married.She remembered that  he was promoted to the her class and she was his class teacher . She found him introvert, not properly dressed and not doing his work neither in the class nor at home.She tried to talk to the child but there was no response from his side. The teacher got worried and she thought of looking at his previous performance. What she found was an eye opener  for her because when this child was in class I his performance was reasonably good but in the last three years he had not been doing well rather was deteriorating every year. She did what other teachers could not do and tried to find the reasons and  explored that there were many problems in the family. The child was neither given any attention at home, nor teachers could identify any problem of the child. At this stage, the child felt ignored and no one around to take care of him, he became introvert. Comments (which were mostly negative) made him loose his confidence completely. This teacher played the role of a mother, the counsellor and that of the teacher. She encouraged him to do well and the child came out of the state of depression .  For him this teacher was no less than his own mother or God and that was the reason he made her to take place of his mother in his marriage ceremony.
This is one example cited here.There are innumerable cases in which an individual could change the life of his/her students in an incredible manner for the betterment of  the family as well as the society. Also you will find many examples where the negative attitude of a teacher played havoc with his students` life. It should be very well understood by all practicing and aspiring teachers that teaching is just not the profession for them, but should become the passion of giving the best of the education to their students. All need money but there cannot be bigger satisfaction than seeing your own students doing well in the life. Though the world has become materialistic but the teachers` role remains the same rather has become more imperative. Once somebody has taken up the responsibility as a teacher should perform it to the best of his/her ability. Though there are many challenges being faced by the teachers today, but that should not hamper their spirit of doing what they are supposed to do because if the teachers fail then nobody can help the nation.
To achieve the same status in the society what ancient teachers had teachers , the society has to play a prominent role in giving the due respect to deserving teachers. The last and the most important thing here is that, if an individual thinks 'oneself ' not capable of taking this responsibility of building the promising futures,  then better take up something else . rather than make bleak futures of the posterity .As it is better not to have a teacher than the one whose negativity hampers the growth of an innocent mind.   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Creativity: A Skill to innovate

The education has been defined by the scholars and the philosophers in different ways but all reach to the same conclusion. Some say that it is the manifestation of the potential one possesses and others consider that it is a tool to prepare oneself for the challenges of life. I think in the  life of a child, a very important role is played by the parents and the teachers or you may extend it to the family and the school. The two are expected to provide all space to the child to explore and imagine to the best of his/her ability . You will notice that in the ancient times, the children were sent to Gurukuls, which were almost the same as today`s boarding schools though there are some fundamental differences between the two.The reason was to expose them to different environment in which they are asked to do things on their own and without the support of any helper as they get at home today.
It is rightly expected by the parents and the society that the schools will encourage students to think and develop the habit of doing the things not as a routine work only but they should try to create something out of their thinking. But unfortunately what has happened in the last 70- 120 years is that information has become more important and the teaching -learning was reduced to teaching - cramming . Every activity in the school and also at home became examination oriented and learning new became the thing of the past.In the name of getting marks the children were forced to memorize what has been told by the teachers or written in the books. It has been noticed that so called guides and keys are made available to the students just before the examinations. By cramming the answers of some questions the students might get good marks but that does not make them to learn anything.
It has been years since any Indian won Noble prize in science or otherwise. If there are few names they are the ones who left the country and worked some where else. This speaks volumes about  the kind of education we have provided to our students. No innovation, invention or research will be possible until our children are given opportunity to think, create and innovate. A new thing is not evolved in a day or immediately ,but it takes years to do that ,hence the students should be motivated if they do not get desired results quickly(difficult task in such a fast age).
In this schools can play a very important role because the students develop many skills during their  stay in the schools. Though there are labs for the children but it is known to all how much time our children spend there. By the time they are in IX class(in some case even before that) academics becomes most important to all because of that more time is spent in the classroom and the tuition centre, listening to the teachers or tutors.The students hardly get any time to think or self study or explore themselves.Though innovations may be done the classrooms also but where is the time and the zeal in the teachers and the students?
It is high time that we come out of the traditional ways of doing things and allow our children to develop their skills and be the leaders in the field of research. The people in other countries do not do different things but do the things differently.An example will prove this point. The then HRD Minister had gone to Brazil where he was taken to an institute where very good quality of bulls was produced by the research scientist of that country. The minister asked the concerned person , how could they  develop such a quality bulls? The person answered that the bulls were brought from India and by some innovations this quality bulls could be possible( This was shared  by the Ex. Minister in the parliament on 23 March 2011). The question is that ,when the Brazilians could improve the quality of Indian bulls then why this could not be done in India?
Another important thing is research labs and their quality. This should also be understood that labs do not confine to the closed rooms only but any place  which helps in learning and doing new things.
There are many schools and the teachers who are trying to help children to be innovative and creative.They are allowing their students to do simple things and experiments. One teacher took the concept of maths lab to the agriculture fields and other teacher allowed children to go out and do field study.
But a lot more is to be done. Education should not be marks oriented only and degrees should be delinked from jobs.Those who are inclined to do research should be encouraged to get into this field right from the beginning. Also some thing should be done  so that our youth do not only believe in monetary gains. Money should not be allowed to become everything in the life.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mobile and internet-master or servant

During the last 10 -15 years, the use of mobiles and the Internet is on rise and most of us feel that this is a great gift of the science to man. Today the life seems to be meaningless without mobiles and the Internet. When we remember the days of black handset of telephone and the way we used to wait for the trunk call to be connected to someone away from us, it appears to be a dream and not the reality. Nowadays you will find as many mobile handsets as the number of the people in the family, rather in some families  more than that. Be it an old person or the teenager, all are using the mobiles. The internet is another media which has made communication fast and easy through mails, twitter, face book, and many more social network sites. We feel great when  talking  to some one in other country or at a distant place, face to face.The communication through internet is much more fast than what  it was 10 years ago. Today a child of age 3-4 years can use mobile so easily that you get surprised.
Before we got mobile, the use of pager was considered quite useful, particularly for the doctors and other people working in large organisations. But introduction of mobile made pager almost obsolete and the same seems to be the fate to the land line phones in the near future.
Internet has proved to be Alaadin Kaa Chirag for every one because you can get all information at the click of a button. Now you do not need  to search for libraries and peep through the pages of the books to get any information because even the books can be read on Internet.You type any word in the search engine and you will be served with all possible information available. You type anything without any worry about the spellings because the Internet and the mobiles have the facility to check spellings and also have a dictionary.We all know the benefits and the importance of mobiles and Internet so well that I do not need to elaborate it further.
But  there is other side of the coin also which can not be over looked and we must pay proper attention to that side also. I remember an incident when a very learned professor came to the school and advocated that CBSE and other boards should allow the use of calculator in the board examinations .A discussion was held and most people thought that the use of calculator should not be allowed in the examination. The Professor had a logic that, when a tool is available why not to make use of it. The other side was of the opinion that if done so than the brain will get relaxed and its capacity  might get reduced. Anyway, the children are allowed to use calculators at home but not during the examination.  I am forced to remember the same incident today.The use of SMS and the emails is not helping children to learn and develop the beauty of language because many of us including children  are fond of SMS. In the name of making things easy, have we not made creativity to take the back seat?
The mobile has been misused so much that the government had to take a decision to ban the use of mobiles in the school. The negatives of the mobiles are often reported in the newspapers and on TV. The children spend a lot of time talking to their friends on mobile or sitting on computers for hours together.Due to this the people at a distance might have come close to us but those who are close are not paid any attention.It has been observed that when a child comes back from school he/she may not have any time to talk to the mother or grandmother but has plenty of time to talk to the so called friends or chat on Internet with someone  who is called a virtual friend. It is a well known fact that when we get something without making much efforts or if something is done for us by somebody else, we do not learn. We learn only when we  try it ourselves. We can take two  examples here, one in which the teacher or the parent solve  problems faced by the child and the second in which the teacher or the parent gives some hint and encourage the child to find the solution. You will agree that the child learns more in the second case and that learning will be long lasting also.My worry is:- Is the Internet making us all, particularly our children, so much dependent on it that our thinking and creativity is  reducing ? Are we not heading  to a situation where if we do not have calculator , mobile or access to internet, we will not be able to spell a word or do even simple calculations? Earlier people used to remember numbers so well but today if you loose your mobile instrument, you may not call even at your own home because the phone numbers are saved in mobile`s memory and not in your memory.
These are some of the problems but more alarming is the problem related to health which has been recently highlighted in the newspapers also.The health hazards are so alarming which make us frightened and very much worried. Use of mobiles for long hours may cause problems of the ear and the brain as well. The radiations around are attacking us  from all sides, all the time which will do no good to our health. Long sitting on computers are causing eye problems and the back problems to all youngsters who are too much exposed to the use of computes. We have started seeing the ill effects of mobiles and Internet hence it is high time that we make our young generation aware of the problems created by indiscriminate and over usage of these facilities.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Importance of sports in schools


When we think of a school, many things come in our mind. It is expected once the child goes out to a school he will learn all the lessons of life and get prepared to face the challenges of life.We expect a child to develop not only mental and intellectual faculty, but also the physical faculty.What has been observed  in the recent years is that more emphasis has been on academic development and in the process physical aspect of the child`s growth has been unknowingly ignored.Though we keep reminding  that sound body has sound mind but this remains a statement only and is not  really practiced. In the past children had opportunities to play in the open areas/ground which were in plenty and that they had an easy access to play grounds because these were very close to their houses. Also there was not so much burden of academics on them hence they had time to make use of such grounds.The food habits were proper because not much of junk food was available to them. What has happened now is that the quality of food is not that good and the open space around has also diminished. The pressure of studies has increased many folds than what it was before. It has been observed that children do not have enough time to eat and take proper rest because after school hours they are supposed to attend the tuition/coaching class also.In some cases this has also been observed that a child  remains absent from the school but not from the other classes.The reason for this probably is that the parents think that taking part in extra curricular activities including  the games and sports, will tire the children and they will not be able devote maximum time towards  their studies.
The result is that you will find many children who are not physically fit. They may appear to be healthy but the truth is that if asked, many of them may not be able to run a distance of even half a kilometer.There are many schools which have wonderful and plenty of the facilities in respect of the games and sports but most of the children are not able to take advantage of such facilities due to different reasons. One of the reasons is ,as I mentioned above, the pressure of studies. The other reason is that many other activities are considered more important than the games and sports. Nowadays the children are found in extra classes of computers, art and craft and music etc, courtesy the advertisement and many programmes shown on TV in which parents see the future of their child. Games and sports do not get enough importance here also.
The CBSE has rightly advised the schools to ensure that children have the physical education period almost every day. This is a welcome step but the question is : should it  not be the policy of all the boards? Are the children studying in CBSE affiliated schools only to be given this privilege? I think it should be implemented in all the schools across the country. Though the schools are finding it difficult to adjust it in their daily time table but some encouraging solution has got to be found by them. One idea can be that the children are asked to come in the evening for games and sports activities and also some of them can come early in the morning before the regular school starts. There may be some problems initially but it would be great for our children , if we can attract them to sports activities. In this the schools should take initiative and the parents should support and extend all possible help to the schools. You may not see the positive results of this immediately but will certainly feel great when our children will prove to be better citizens of the country.
 It is the games field where the children learn  many lessons of life. Victory and defeat are the integral part of any sports activity and the children learn the lesson of success and  failure and take both equally well and do not loose heart even after the defeat or failure. They learn to work as a team which is so important in life.They learn to appreciate even the people who are in the opposition and playing against them. And most importantly they remain physically fit which help to become mentally strong also.
Hence the policy makers, schools and the parents should think alike to provide better future to our children by providing them better facilities of games and sports and also motivate them to make full use of that.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Problems have solutions also

Dear friends,
We have just celebrated the festival of colours, Holi and almost all took a pledge to get rid of old animosity and start the life with new zeal and faith in each other. But many people and organisations kept away from the celebrations due to unfortunate incidents that happened in the last few days/months. What happened in Sawai Madhopur and Jodhpur has disturbed all the citizens and every body is asking a question, could these incidents be avoided? The innocent people who have lost their lives will not come back by anything we do now but, should we ensure that such incidents do not re-occur?
The young man  lost his life for the sake of getting justice for another person. What has been reported in  a newspaper if that is true, then we as parents have to answer  many questions to ourselves. The report (as told to the reporter of the news paper by the friend of the deceased man) states that the young man had spoken to his  friends about what he could do to get the justice for the sufferer and also be able to draw the attention of the public. He perhaps did mention about his plan to climb the water tank and ask for the justice from there.
We can debate on why did he do this as there were other ways also to achieve what he wanted to. I shall not elaborate on that but confine only to what made him to do that. Popularity might have been one of the factors for his action, but what we observe around us today is that when we ask for genuine things to be done politely, perhaps not much attention is paid to that but at the same time if a group of people indulges doing something which may be not even as per law, they are heard and we try to find solution for the problem, rather we provide the solution. Is it not like that a child will not get attention until he/ she cries.  Is this the right approach?
Was this young man, victim of the defect in the bringing up of the children nowadays? Because we have observed that the children at times try to misuse the affection of the parents by black mailing them. It has come to the notice of teachers that parents surrender to unjust demands of the children due to not being able to counsel them.I can not say for sure but there must have been mixed  factors responsible for the unfortunate incident.
What happened after that is more dangerous and shameful. The crowd, which did not do anything to save the life of a young man very easily  took life of a young officer who was trying to save the young man.We can blame the police and the administration but the society should also introspect. It has been observed that, if unfortunately a casualty happens due to some accident, the people in spite of helping the injured, indulge in agitations like burning the vehicles and blocking roads etc.
We must try to analyse that and take corrective measures. Our children who read and watch negative  incidents learn wrong way of getting their demands met. The education at home and in the schools and colleges must include this particular aspect in th syllabus so that the energy of the youth is properly utilized for the benefit of the society and the nation. We must come out of the selfish approach and should not think only of our caste and religion , but should be more concerned for the society and the nation. Here I am reminded of the recent  incident in Japan, where even after the evacuation, there were 200 people working at the site of the damaged nuclear reactor in order to save the other precious lives,despite the fact that they were aware that if they will survive, they will suffer from serious defects or will meet the ultimate end.This is a brilliant lesson of dedication and devotion that we must learn! Rather than getting rebellious and killing innocent people,we must save human lives.
Hence,the most appropriate tribute paid to the young man and the police officer would  be to stop the happenings of such incidents. In this media can play a very important role by not showing such things again and again because there are many people who get influenced by that.Also there are many good things  happening in the society and many people are helping others but they do not get that much space in the press or on TV as they deserve. If it is not taken care of, then every one will have the feeling that nothing is good and right in the country which is not the truth because there is so much good happening.
Let us sincerely search for the solution of the problems and do not let them re-occur because every problem has a solution within. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Innocent face of life

Dear friends,
Yesterday I had an enriching experience of meeting some people from a very small town, you may call it a village and my interaction with them forced me to ask a question to myself and the question is that, is it the formal education or  lots of  information received and remembered by a person or some thing more and different which makes us a better human being. Let me share it with you that I also hail from a village and during my childhood  I had number of opportunities to be in the village and get exposed to the discussions and talks my grandfather used to have with other villagers.The kind of discipline and the respect for each other was so well and natural that nobody was ever asked or dictated  to be disciplined and respectful towards  elders but they still  learnt it. It has not been possible for me to visit my village that often as I would  have liked due to certain  reasons. Yesterday`s incident made me  firm in my idea that informal education given by the family or the society is as important as the formal education is and in some cases even more important.
We know that education is considered to bring out the best in an individual which does not help only that  person but also help him/her to do good to others . It should not become a tool to earn bread and butter only but education should help in making earth a better place to live. It has been observed that degrees  and certificates are not making us wise but sometimes forcing us to drift away from the virtues of humanity. You might have noticed that in the crowd of the people, who demonstrate against the system or some failure of the government policy ,many of them are so called degree holders.
 This has been observed in our parliament also that number of  degree holder MPs is increasing but the standard of the debate in the house has deteriorated(if you do not think so I am very happy for this country). If this was the so called formal education only then the standard of debate in Parliament and Assemblies should have been much higher than what it is nowadays.
I do not at all say that  good formal education or the degrees are of no importance but my  submission is that informal education received by an individual is also equally necessary. The villagers whom I met did not have any certificate of class X or otherwise but were more polite, helpful and considerate than what many of the so called educated ones are(exceptions are always there).
We wanted to see the home of a villager and found a lady standing outside one home. We asked her if there was any male member at home(we were the group a few male and female members) . Her  answer was no but she wanted to know why were we asking that question. We told her our wish to see their house and can you believe she very happily agreed for that. We felt obliged and went inside. It was two rooms house and absolutely neat and clean. The utensils and other household things were so well kept and arranged as some one had taught them that art. They were very happy taking us around and had all the time to answer our curious queries. They offered us water and also a cup of tea . We were completely unknown to them but they were so innocent and pure in their approach towards us which I am unable to express in words. Not only this but most of the houses in the village had a quote written on the front wall that such and such family hearty welcomes you all. But in the developed cities many of the houses have the doors with a plate warning the guests to be aware of dogs.  A question to be answered is that, does formal  education make our brain bigger and the heart smaller.
I do not know whether I could have believed and treated an individual or a group in so called developed place called a big city in the same manner as the villager treated us.
What I want to say is that we should learn the lesson of innocence and helping others from the people from small places who are considered to be less developed. I have seen those people enjoying their life even in those difficult conditions. I strongly feel that development and the values should be directly proportional to each other and not the other way round.
I end with a quote written on the boundary wall of the village school and the quote is "Sachhi shiksha vahi hai jo manavta kaa paath padhay"  that is the true education ,the one which teaches the lesson of humanity.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Career Options- Allow child to make a choice

Dear friends,
We all are aware that the board examination of class XII are going on and these are considered to be very important for the future of the students. The performance of the students in these exams is one of the factors which  help them to choose a career in future, based on the college/university  and the course they study after class XII. Though there are number of options available to the students but it has been observed that we still force or motivate our children for the traditional choices only. This may be medicine, engineering or charted accountancy etc. In metros and bigger cities people are opting for not so popular courses also but the picture in smaller cities remain  almost the same what it was before.
For this, I think we as parents,   have to be more open to the new fields in which our children can perform better. If the child`s  interest is in photography or designing or creative writing or pure sciences or law or dramatics or paintings, and the list is quite long, why should  they not be motivated and allowed to pursue their career in that field. It is the digital age which means it is either zero or one. What I want to say here is that whatever we do, it should be the best even if it is some profession which otherwise was not very popular. I can cite many  real examples of my own students who were allowed by their parents to choose their own fields(child`s choice) and they are not only performing very well but also enjoying it. One example is of Mr. Varun Gupta who otherwise was an average student but very good at computers. Fortunately his parents and teachers motivated him and today he is doing extremely well in that field. Another example is of Mr. Rahul Bhandari whose parents initially wanted him to go for engineering but he stood on his grounds and pursued career of his own choice in law. He is enjoying his profession to the fullest.And then there is an example of Ms. Priyamvada Tiwari who was very good in Hindi and her teacher motivated her to pursue  higher studies in  that subject . She convinced her parents and now is doing extremely well in that field. Ms Anusha Mody is another child who got the support of her parents to do a course in interior designing in which she is doing so well. Then I have example of Mr.Rajender Rathore, Ms. Deepanjana Ghoshal and Mr.Gajender Singh who are doing very well in the field of Fine Arts . And again the list is never ending and I think it will take  days to mention the names of all those promising students. But unfortunately there are many children who were forced by the parents and in many a cases by relatives also,  to do something which they did not want to do and today, are not very happy with the choice which was forced on them.I would avoid naming them here.
What I want to reiterate here is that let the children be allowed to join a course of their choice and interest as it is the age of reforms.All this is happening at a global level and we cannot restrict the path of water but of course can give it a direction and let it take its own course. And if all this happens , I am sure and I can assure parents that our children will do very well in life.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Behavioral change pattern

Dear friends,
Today I shall focus on understanding the change in behavior of an individual child from childhood to the time he/she is 16-18 years of age. When a child is born, the mother of the child is the whole world for him/her and the life of the child revolves around her, irrespective of the gender.The child tries to look for her for every thing even when he/she is considered not  being able to understand many happenings around him/her. As the child grows up, he starts feeling the presence of other members of the family also, who may be the father or any other person staying close to him most of the times. By the age of 2-3 years  most of the children start liking or disliking certain things because of some reasons ,which I would avoid discussing here. The child becomes friendly to the same age group kids and share things with them (in some case it may be the other way also).When he/ she starts going to play school or pre- primary school then his/her world becomes bigger and find new friends and get exposed to outside world and unknown adults. But very quickly the child gets along with them, particularly the teacher.During this time the mother and the teacher are the most important people in the life of the child.As he grows, friends and other things start influencing his activities but still he is more attached to the family and the teachers by the age of 10- 11 years. After that you might have observed that the child who used to share everything happening around him/her with parents and teachers does not do the same that often as before.Many parents feel relieved now because they take it  that the child has grown up and they are not required to communicate with him that frequently.This is the first stage of the gap starting between parent/teachers and the child. From the age 11-14 years   the child is more attached to the friends and develops liking towards certain things depending upon the nature of majority of his friends.During this period,  the parents also create enough space in their life but more space is taken by friends and most of the times by outside celebrities or so called role models for them.Theystart living in the world of fantasy and real world does not impress and interest them.They start arguing with parents and teachers but not very strongly. The distance between them  further increases. The boys tend to become close to mothers and girls to their fathers(there are exceptions also depending upon parents behavior) .From the age of 15-18 years ,the children do not feel comfortable with anything told to them ,contrary to what they think or want to do.They spend more time with the peers than with the parents or the teachers.They want to be allowed to do the things they want and not to be directed for anything , at times even proper advise is also taken negatively.They do respect their elders including teachers but  feel shy of expressing it to them.They do feel proud of the family but the communication gap between the adults and the children becomes quite obvious and mostly it widens because of lack of understanding on the part of adults.What I mentioned above is the changed behavioral pattern which has been happening and will be there in future also. The only difference which has come is that the pace of change has increased and the age group mentioned above is also changing fast.
The changed  pattern in adults` behavior, specially the parents, towards the growing kids is also interesting to be discussed. What I have observed is, till the child is studying in primary classes (up to 5), remains in touch with the teachers almost all the time whenever required , but as the age and class of the child goes up the attendance of the parents in PTMs and communication otherwise also reduces rapidly.By the time the child is in 11th or 12th, most of the parents have very little interaction with the teachers which is not the right thing done for our children. Behavioral change is a natural phenomena and we should allow that to happen but  it is also important to provide proper guidance to our kids whenever they need. We should not get away from them, but our role should change as our children grow and when they are in classes 9th -12th ,we should be their friend, philosopher and guide; intrude in their life but at the same time,always remain available to them so that they can share everything they want to share.
These are my thoughts and I shall be more than happy to be advised more on this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Respect all human beings

Dear friends,
What I am going to discuss with you is very important issue which affect every one of us every moment. Many books have been published on how to behave in a family and in an organisation so that the life of all is stress free and they enjoy being there.Be it Mr. Robin Sharma or Shiv Kheraji in all their writings have advocated of patience,tolerance and respect for others. You might have also noticed that the families where every one is given due respect is more satisfied and progressive. When I mention of progress, it does not include only the material gains but overall environment of the family. The same applies to any organisation also. Now the question arises why it does not happen so across the board? Answers can be many ,but the important is the values and traditions we have been exposed to. Also , at times it is the frustration of individuals which burst out all of a sudden and others bear the brunt . Also, if some body had lived a stressful childhood that would also contribute to that kind of behavior. I would like to cite an example here; There is day -cum -boarding school in a city in which the boarding facility has been provided for the children of the parents of surrounding area, who do not either  have access to quality schools or due to some personal reason they want their children to be in the hostel. Because the school hostel has both boys and girls,  hence the security guards and the housemasters are more attentive towards the safety of the children and that is why except parent nobody else is expected to come in the school without prior intimation.The security guards have been instructed accordingly by the school management. One day a respected and important person came to school at around 6.30 PM  without prior intimation and asked the guard to let him go inside The guard tried to contact the person concerned who would have given direction what was to be done.This took around 4-5 minutes and the respected man got angry as he took it as his insult .Meanwhile the head of the school came there and when was introduced to the respected person, he greeted him, but unfortunately, by that time the person was so much angry and furious that he started behaving not as a gentleman but some one who was very powerful. The head expressed sorry for what has happened, but at the same time conveyed to the gentleman that it was not the fault of the security guard because he was not able to recognize him and hence probably a mistake committed by him. The respected gentleman was so upset that he was not ready to listen to any reason whatsoever and directed the head of school that either terminate this man immediately or the face the music. The head of the school  till date has not been able to understand who is more educated : the respected gentleman or the security guard of the school .(who was insulted by the gentleman)
But at the same time there is another example ,where a Member of Parliament did not come to meet the head of the same school without fixing time of the meeting. And the way the MP conveyed her thoughts to the head , he will  remain grateful to her forever and will cherish the memory of the meeting with her. I think one person created a lot of stress to others(for no faults) and the other one made them to behave in a  better  manner and value other`s dignity. I am trying to understand the reason behind two different types of behavior of the two respected and important persons because both them have the tremendous responsibility of shaping the future of this country.
But a lesson learnt from this is, let us respect all human beings irrespective of their position or designation  because the society and the country needs both.
Two examples cited above are not to praise or criticize anyone but I, being always a learner, am trying to understand why does it happen so?   

Monday, March 14, 2011

Teacher- expected to be a role model

Yesterday I had the opportunity to interact with large number of parents who got their children admitted in the school. They were the parents of the children of age group 3- 4years and I was trying to understand , why did they choose X school for the their child. Many of them were not very sure of the reason but all of them expect a lot from the teachers of the school and it was obvious that they had trust and faith in the teachers of this school.  Different issues including the important issue of parenting and difficulties of the young parents and problems faced by them ,were deliberated upon.
One important issue discussed was - what should be the right of age of sending a child for formal education? There were divergent views but by and large many felt that the children are being exposed to the  formal education too early. The reasons of doing so are many ,but one important reason cited was that it was  easy to get admission in lower classes which becomes very difficult in higher classes. So once you admit the child in the entry class you need not to worry about his school education in future. What they meant was that they are relieved of  one kind of the stress.
While discussing certain issues, I asked them about what they expect from a teacher for their child and all the good things were shared by them. It appeared, and rightly so, that nobody can shape the personality and future of  a child better than a teacher. We discussed how a child refuses to accept anything told to him/her contrary to what the teacher had told in the class. The children follow the teachers almost completely and religiously,  specially small children try even to copy them, like the way the teachers stand , walk and their way of speaking. We all were of the opinion that a teacher is almost everything for a child and hence it is rightly expected from him/her that she should play dual role ,that of teacher and a mother as well. When it is so then should we not have the best of brains as the teachers  so that our children get the best. Hence I asked a question to all present in the hall that how many of them would like their  children to become ateacher when he/she is to decide a career in future or how many of the parents ever wanted to become school teachers? And as expected not even a single hand was raised to accept either they would like their child to become a teacher or they ever wanted to become one. There are obvious reasons of such response but this is not a very happy situation. We all want best of the teachers for our children but do not want to be one.
The scenerio will change if the teachers get the same status in the society what they used to have in the past but for that both society and the teachers will have to  respect each other and also introspect for the change. There can be no happier moment for a teacher than seeing his/her student doing very well in life and this will be many times more rewarding than the so called "package" in any other profession. It is the teacher who is so lucky to live in the company of innocent mind who care for others and are the most honest ones.Let all teachers enjoy the company of the young kids and not to take teaching as a job only.They are the moulders and shapers of posterity.Parents and society can help in making things better by supporting those teachers who are trying their level best for the sake of their students.
I salute all the great teachers who contributed immensely in the growth of the country in their own modest way.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Quality of teachers` training

This was very heartening to read that the school teachers , both, those who are teaching or intend to take up teaching as profession specially from classes 1st to 8th will have to appear in TET( Teachers`s eligibility test). It is a much needed step taken by NCTE and promptly enforced by the government.This will definitely improve skills of our teachers and in turn help our children understand things better. I have been sharing it with many people before also that an engineer is trained for four years and a doctor for five to seven years. The proper training of engineers and doctors is  important  but at the same time the teachers who contribute significantly in the personality development of children and make them worth becoming what they do in future life is also equally important.
Earlier the duration of B.Ed used to be one year which has now rightly been increased to two years. In my opinion it should be at least a three years course. Not only this there is also an urgent need of improving the standard of teachers` training colleges because the quality of teachers is very important and not only the number of people with B.Ed degrees. There have been recommendations from different education commissions for the betterment of quality of school education but some of them could not be implemented due to some reasons.
We are proud of our IITs ,IIMs and AIIMS and few more such institutions of higher education but I have been wondering about any teachers` training college which can be that proudly mentioned as IITs etc..Can we say that any candidate coming out from this B.Ed. college is equivalent in quality to a student coming out of IITs and AIIIMS? If not ,why? Should we have not paid more attention towards this important issue?
I do not mean to say that our teachers have not been doing well. In fact they are better than the teachers of many other countries. What I want to submit is that our young people possess an inherent quality of doing well and they did it well because they wanted to do so and not necessarily because of the training they got in many of the TTCs. TET is a welcome step taken in the right direction but at the same time the quality of teachers`s training institutes should also be looked into seriously and the course content be revised as per the need of the hour.
In addition to that infrastructure and facilities at school level should also be improved.When I talk of facilities, it does not mean  big and fancy buildings and costly gadgets and furniture but proper working and stress free environment for teachers as well students.Let there be freedom of experimentation and doing  the things as per local requirement. The teachers should be encouraged to attend as many workshops and seminars as possible. Testing teachers` efficiency is important but giving them opportunity and helping them to improve their efficiency is more important so that this eligibility certificate does not prove to be another degree or decorative piece of paper. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tribute to the victms of Mother Nature`s fury

The pictures and videos of earthquake and tsunami hit Japan shown on TV channels were the most shocking of the recent past. Hundreds of the people have been declared dead and this number is only to rise. It was very difficult to believe what was being shown live on TV and later during the day in repeat telecast. We are  worried about the aftermath which  is going to be more disastrous than what appears to us now. The tragedy is that the country which is considered to be the best prepared for such disasters could not get any clue of the gravity of earthquake and after effects of that. As per the reports ,Tsunami warning could  provide only 12 minutes to the people to react and go to safer places. The cars ,planes and ships appeared to be floating as the paper boats made by the children. The world is shocked and can not do much but to save and provide best possible help to the affected brothers and sisters of Japan and that is what most of the countries are doing including India.
After we shall come to terms with this tragedy I know that there will be many conferences and serious meetings regarding how to react to such natural disasters. This is important to prepare ourselves for that but what I feel is that the all nations particularly the so called developed nations should concentrate on how to reduce the occurings of such tragedy as it may not be possible to stop it completely. The scientists, environmentalists and researchers should be extended full support to find the reasons of how much has been the contribution of man`s indiscrimate activities to such disasters. As a science student I understand that when we try to press something beyond elastic limit it breaks or get deshaped and does not look like what it was originally.What I feel is that reckless human activities are pressing the Mother Nature and reaching the elastic limit. As I have mentioned before also that development is important but that should have balance between human welfare and the nature. Whenever we try to act against nature the result is going to be as disasterous as we have observed.
I do not know how to react to this situation but, very strongly feel that the best tribute paid to the people who have lost their lives in such disasters is that we start respecting nature and do not disturb her in the name of development and progress.I do not understand the use of such progress if the people for whom we are doing it are not there to be benefitted by that.
We must remember what our father of nation said that there is enough in the nature for the need of the people of the world but very little for the greed.
In the end we pray to Almighty to give strength to the people of Japan to bear and come out of this tragedy. The entire world is by their side.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fast development- Is it at a very high cost?

Dear friends,
I read an article based on the blog of Ms. Lavanya Shah who is the daughter of great poet and lyricist late Sh. Bharat Vyas Ji. She writes with a lot of passion and emotion about certain incidents related to film industry and many things about her father which are otherwise not known to other people.
She lives in USA and has been writing poems and articles and her experiences of life and she is considered to be a person who is full of emotions and that is so well reflected in her poems. I shall not be able to comment on her writings but one incident mentioned in the above stated article which I read made me to think that are we paying very high cost in the name of development and being called modern?
The incident narrated by her  is that one day she had gone to visit a park and there, from  a distance, she saw that a lady was carrying apparently a child and was quite happy doing that. When Ms. Lavanya went close to the lady she was surprised to find that this was not a young mother carrying a child in baby chair but was a very old woman who was carrying her old and sick husband in a wheel chair. While doing so she was almost falling but still smiling for the sake of her husband.
Ms. Lavanya must have thought of this situation and that is why she posted it on her blog.
I do not know what did she think but it moved  me to think and worry that, was it an isolated incident at a place in that country or is becoming very common now everywhere. The so called developed countries are facing more such problems.In the race and name of progress  we are  drifting away from our families and specially the elders.When our elders need us the most they are being  left to themselves. Old age homes are no substitute to the homes these respected elders  built  for themselves and the family with a lot of hard work.We must not blindly follow other countries and move away from our responsibilities in the name of  progress.Whatever may be our constraints, we must look after our elders when they need us the most.Some people may think me to be conservative in my approach, but this is a fact that we all shall also grow old one day and if at that time nobody is around us it will pain us which is so  much visible on the faces of old people in old age homes.
Another lesson which I learnt from this was that if we are happily married than at least two people will be able to share the joy and sorrows of the life at the fag end of their being on this planet. That lady was struggling with the wheel chair but still enjoying doing so as any mother will enjoy while carrying a new born baby. So we must understand that relationship of marriage is very pious and should be lived that way.
In the end, I would suggest that the fast pace progress or development which is mainly  materialistic and mechanical,  should not leave human relationship so much behind that we forget the word "HUMANITY."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mother- The best teacher

This is in continuation to my yesterday`s thoughts on mother and the role played by women in making this earth a better place to live.
I happened to read , in a newspaper,a letter written by a daughter to her father in which she asked  why was she called "beta" by him. She said why should she not be treated what she is. What she meant was that she is a girl and not the boy so her identity should not be changed. And this made me to think that nowadays in the name of being equal a sort of competition has started.Everybody feels I am no less than the other and in this race many a times we tend to forget our self and our identity.It is true that girls ,in our country have not been treated the way boys have been treated and perhaps that is the reason now people are trying to treat them as sons.What this girl is asking is that treat and respect me what I am. Do not make me somebody else and show your affection towards me that way.
As I mentioned earlier also that all individuals are important and they deserve to be treated with respect the way they are.Mother nature has given  strength and responsibility to all living beings.Daughters are as important as the sons are and no one can be treated as superior or inferior.Whenever we shall try to change our identity there may not be good results of that change.The nature has made us to perform certain responsibilities in our own capacities and let us do that.
It is true that girls are capable of doing any work assigned to them so well as boys but that does not mean they should change their identity.If there are problems in the society these are because  of this reason also that role of mother is not being given that importance as it used to be.It is important that women should be free of any restrictions and should be able to do any work she wants to do, but at the same time her role as a mother should not  be diluted. There will be no meaning of her being financially independent or otherwise if the children are deprived of their due they deserve whether the child is girl or a boy.Our daughters are very precious to us and let us allow them to remain  as daughters because without them we shall not be able to progress or even exist.
I hope my thoughts expressed above will be taken in a right spirit.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The mother- first and the best teacher of a child

All are aware that 08th march is celebrated as international women`s day every year and so was the occasion yesterday.I also got an opportunity to be the part of such a function organised by some agencies. All the speakers were of the opinion that a woman can make all the difference in a family. And this is also true that family is building block(basic unit) of the society and society`s nature will largely depend upon the kind of the families we have. So, what we conclude is that role of women is of paramount importance and hence it is the responsibility of all that they are given due place and status which allows them to do the best for the family and ultimately for the society.I asked a question- Can we empower someone because of whom we have our existence?Women in our country have suffered due to some traditions followed over a period of time.There must have been some compulsive reasons because of which some customs were started.Now as the times have changed and the important role played by a woman is evident to all we need to change our mind set also.We have to give due respect to her as Mother, sister,daughter or in any other role which  she plays during her life.
In this the role as a mother is very important and it has been found that the family in which women are given the place they rightly deserve ,the children in those families grow healthier in all respect.It is the mother who teaches the child the lessons of life whether it is the patience. tolerance ,respect for elders or developing the confidence of a child.
In one of the annual day celebrations in our school  "Maa" was taken as a theme in which different roles  played by mother were enacted. In this play, teacher says that it is the mother who encourages the child in all situations.It is her teachings which shape the personality of the child. I shall write two dialogues in roman what the teacher says to a student "Bachman me hamm tutlakar bolte the agar maa hum par hans di hoti to saari srishti goongi rah gayi hoti. Ghootno- ghootno chalte the koi bari uplabdhi nahi thi  maa ne agar sahara nahi diya hota to hum kabhi khade nahi ho paate."
This is absolutely true and I am sure that the way women are coming up and showing their power in different fields we can expect better society in future. But the most important role to be played by her is that  of mother and thereby  giving the values to the children. I feel women are not only to be empowered but they  should be  given the respect they  deserve and than only we can expect our children do well .This will help the society to emerge as a society full of moral & ethical values.
With sincere regards to all the women including my mother. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Country- at crossroads

Dear Friends,
In the last few discussions, I focussed on teachers,parents and children/students particularly school going children.Recently one respected gentleman visited my office to explore  possibility if there was a place  for admission of a child in a particular class.Apart from this topic we discussed on other issues also and were of the opinion that the country is at crossroads and our young generation is deprived of "Good Ideals" that is why, at times they seem to be indifferent and not very clear in their approach.After a long discussion it was almost clear that if the youth is to be shown proper path for the progress of the nation then schools and colleges have to play major roles.The children will learn the lesson of life here only and they should be given teachings of moral values and their duties not only for themselves but also towards the society.If they learn the lesson of honesty now, then this country will be free of all corruption and other similar malpractices.After the discussion we were quite happy and excited but this was short lived excitement because the next person whom I met discussed about certain things happening in the schools which were not setting good examples for the society.I think it is known to many people that branded coaching institutes lure best of the students  in the name of preparing children for IIT. and the understanding is that students are not supposed to attend the school for two years and these institutes will `manage` that. People did not raise voice against it at the initial stage and the now rumour is that the children are enrolled in school which is in different city than the city where coaching center is being run and obviously the child attends the coaching centre and not the school. Some students have confessed this to their teachers also. Now this can not  be done without parents knowledge.I ask question to myself  in the race of achieving the goal of passing from an IIT and doing it dishonestly should we  expect honesty from them in future. This is just one question I have raised.
The most alarming statement given by the gentleman was that it is the belief of common people  nowadays that everything can be achieved and gained by approach( he meant siffarish) What can be done now?
.I suggest that let us help and motivate those people and institutions which are still trying to do things honestly and with transperancy.There are many people who think this way but unfortunately either do not get together or are afraid of after effects of doing things in proper way.
We all owe a lot to our motherland and let each one of us do a bit and bring  this country out of this state of confusion.My request and advise to all parents will be that they should not do anything which they otherwise critcize.This does not make any sense that we expect honesty from others but when needed  we get our work done by using unfair means.
I hope what has been shared by me will be taken in positive sense by all concerned and not personally as an individual or an institution.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Behavioural problems of children - Are they responsible?

Dear friends,
A few days ago I discussed about the importance of trust and faith between individuals, groups and the system. I also submitted my views about  how faith can be build or rebuild.Today I shall confine my thoughts to a child`s relationship  with parents and teachers.
Many of us proudly say that we used to respect and at times fear our parents and teachers and never argued with them even if things said or attributed to us were not agreed by us.My question is that was it the respect or the fear which made us to behave that way or something else.I think it was combination of both.And this was, perhaps, the result of faith and trust we had in our parents,teachers and the family.This trust and faith was developed because of the close relationship and frequent interaction with parents and other family members.We were fortunate to have got quality time also of our parents and not  only the materialistic things made available to us in lieu of their company.
In today`s time the parents are hard pressed to give time to their children, hence they try to compensate it with costly things like electronic gadgets etc.You must have noticed that many children are fond of video games and they love to play counter strike etc.In many games the rules are that if you  hit/kill more people or animals or destroy maximum property, you will score more points.Also the kind of toys available to the kids at tender age contribute towards this problem. I do not understand what good or positive the child would learn from it except violence and hatred.Not only this, there are number of TV channels where the actors take pride in using foul language and shout at each other and indulge in violent acts.This all is being done in the name of freedom of expression. Also the kids and teenagers are fond of cartoon films and TV channels.Till it was Tom and Jerry it was OK, but the other cartoons show violence and leave an everlasting impression on the raw minds of our children which is not very constructive.
At times these programmes are viewed by all members and parents can guide and advise children but in many a case the children watch these programmes alone  because in many families  TV , computers etc, are available in individual rooms..
I often think that if we are surrounded by machines what will we become?And the answer seems to be machine.
So my submission to all will be that let these electronic gadgets be our servants and not the masters.Let our children be in the company of human beings and grow naturally.This will take care of these behavioural problems of our children which they do not develop because of their faults but due to our ignorance.
Let us expose them to good poems and text books etc and not to these violent and negative games and TV serials..