Monday, December 28, 2015

We reap what we sow

The news related to an incident reported in the newspapers regarding the drastic step taken by an engineer who killed his parents because of a silly reason as he could not qualify for a premier competitive examination. There have been incidents in the past also when people took such extreme steps of taking their own lives but this seems to the first case where the family members have been attacked by an individual due to failing in his efforts to have achieved what he aspired for. This is something which relates to murder but don’t we come across smaller incidents in our day to day life which might ultimately lead to such situations? Unfortunately, such incidents are forgotten by all soon because of so many other issues in their own lives and sometimes because some other issue becomes the focus of public. This incident happened when our parliament had almost unanimously passed a bill regarding juvenile crime. While most members of parliament were in favor of the amendment but some raised very pertinent issues which require immediate attention by all concerned. This is true that no reason justifies the heinous crimes committed by anybody, be it an adult or teenager but the question to be answered without getting emotionally influenced is why children get involved in such acts. If we consider specifically Nirbhay`s case then the dreadful crime involved the people who were less than 18 years of age. In addition to the punishment, should not the law makers and the society be looking for the cause as to why the innocent girl was killed? No punishment can bring her back but shouldn’t everyone try that such incidents do not get repeated? And we should also realize and accept that only law cannot help us achieve that goal. We need to sensitize our self and also our children specially the boys. Remember no child is born with those traits and instincts which are displayed later in life. All the children when born are absolutely innocent and born good human beings. This can be proved by considering the activities of the children till the age of 9/10 years that they behave almost in the same manner when it comes to being very close to the parents or their demands for different things. These children respect and follow the instructions and advise of the adults around them (be it the teachers or the parents) almost 100 percent. They are very close to the mothers and always worry about them. Try a child to remain away from the mother for few days and one can easily make out the despondency on the face of the child. But what happens when the child is of 15-16 years of age and starts moving away from the parents who had been his role models right from the birth? Let us try to understand the reasons which are many but we will focus on the most important ones. In today’s time, most of the children live in nuclear families and both the parents working. Now the parents have very little time to be with their children physically and to compensate for that deficit, they try to provide them all the material things which might make children feel happy for the time being. In many a cases, at later stage, children start demanding the things of their liking whether required or not. In this situation also many parents fulfill their demands to make the kids feel happy though they understand it very well that this is not the right approach. This makes children habitual of getting anything which they want by any means which may not be right from the society's point of view. Now the question may be asked that in case of Nirbhaya, the children involved in the crime were not from high status/ income family background then what made them indulge in such a crime. Some members of our parliament were right when they raised the issue of lack of education and proper employment. If we all try to see the condition of unauthorized colonies in the metros and bigger cities, then we can very easily understand the mindset with which the children are born, in those colonies and the fact that they grow with the same. There may be just one room (make shift with plastic sheets etc.) in which the entire family lives. They cook, eat and sleep in the same room and the children see everything what their parents do and the verbal fight they might have which each other because of their socio economic condition. There are number of such one room huts and every shed has the same condition and environment. When these children meet each other outside their so called one bedroom hut, they share the same kind of thinking with each other. The most venerable case might be of the girl child in such cases. These children do not get an opportunity to have good education and always exposed to very negative things happening around them which might include the father consuming alcohol, committing physical violence against the woman of the family etc. When such children grow in these conditions, then how does the society expect them to be behaving in more decent manner? Try to analyse the background of such children who are found involved in committing the crime, it would invariably be established that the environment in which these children grew was responsible for what they did. This is true that the one who commits crime have to own the responsibility of that, but how can those who made them to learn in such negative environment, can be left scot free. Should the people responsible for fulfilling the fundamental rights of healthy living as provided by our constitution not be held responsible for such situation to arise? Should they also not share the blame of such incidents?
If we have to root out such crimes from our society then the people should be provided those basic things which are necessary for the human beings and these includes proper shelter, education, food and employment. If these things are provided then we may not be dependent solely on the law and the punishment.
But this is not true that the crimes are committed by the people from lower socio economic background but the kids from so called high profile family backgrounds also get involved in such crimes. For that the parents have to understand that the way they behave at home and in the society has huge impact on their kids. If a child does not listen to the advise of the parents, then there must have been something lacking on the part of parents or the adults of the family and children learnt it from there. If the father or the mother uses foul language with other people then the child will follow the same. If the parents value and respect their parents then the children will automatically learn to respect their parents. If the husband and wife fight with each other or behave in a negative way, the children will get affected by that also. If the parents value money and the material things acquired by them as a result of hard work put in by them, then the children will learn the importance of hard work.
There have also been large numbers of cases reported from Kota regarding suicides committed by many young children who come to that place to realize dreams and in many cases the dreams of their parents. The parents want them to qualify the competitive examination even if they have to sell off their valuables and in some cases the land to manage the exuberant fee of the coaching centers (some people call them as dream sellers). When few of them are not able to take the pressure of studies and are fed up with the living conditions, they resort to that extreme step which is a shame for all of us. On the one hand CBSE and some other boards are trying to reduce the pressure of studies on children but on the other hand such coaching centers (which have their presence in almost all cities now-a-days) do just opposite of this. Many children from such backgrounds grow as frustrated individuals and cannot accept failure in their life. The parents must understand that every child is different and has the potential of achieving something great in life which may not necessarily be the field in which the parents want the child to excel but some other field. If the children are allowed to pursue the field of their choice and the parents support that, the issue of extreme disappointment will be taken care of up to a large extent.
My request to all the parents and teachers is that let the government do what best can be done by it but we should have faith in our children because they are God sent gift to us and gift by God is always precious and good. If something negative happens to this gift then for that God or the child should not be blamed but we should own that blame because the child learnt all those things from us and not from anybody else. If we can provide good environment to the children at home and in the schools, then there is no reason that they will not prove to be great citizens of this land and show the right path to the world in the pursuit of excellence.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Setting ideals

There have been happenings around the globe that are inconsiderate and require immediate attention. One such incident that took place in America a few days back has left the world aghast. It was about a child firing a gun shot at his friend and killing her only because he just wanted to touch the pet and his friend did not allow him to do so. Attitude of complacency and intolerance among the teenagers is making the world around, a pandemonium and an unfriendly place to live in. The episodes of teenagers hitting each other and the students over-reacting to situations, is worsening day by day. This is one such crucial subject that needs to be addressed urgently and if not done so, will certainly become devastating for the society in the coming years. Another episode of a student of class ninth hitting one of his classmates, in one of the schools, in which the latter boy succumbed to death, was also alarming. Unfortunately, all that happened within minutes and by the time the teachers on duty approached, the victim had already collapsed. This act was actually a reaction of the student who could not tolerate the other students’ mischief, as a result lost his own life. The question that arises here is of the attitude of patience and tolerance in today’s generation. Are we making our children less tolerant or protecting them to the extent that they think their actions are justified even if they are not! Or are we teaching them rebelliousness in the name of self-defence?
 Psychologists say that as the children grow, they learn from their surroundings, their parents, grandparents and teachers. Every act of others around is copied by the child being unaware of its righteousness. Although this is a proven fact yet the elders seem to be indifferent towards it and are moving far from the idealistic standards. Least do they realize that the children tend to emulate them in everything that they do. Parents merely laugh at the ‘innovative’ acts of the child, whereby, the child thinks it to be right and tries to amuse them more often. All this gradually turns into habit, seeking further acknowledgement from parents. To consider them the victims of  changing scenario more amount of freedom than should actually be given, is granted to the child, without even estimating the upshots. Now, this becomes lethal. A combination of indiscriminate freedom, unnecessary appreciation and less indulgence of parents lead to disintegrated personality of the child. As the child grows up, he/she finds it difficult to cope up with the existing challenges and hence is stressed. The positive and negative stress is much talked about these days, as a new term ‘eustress’ has evolved for good stress. Negative stress drains one’s energy and there are mental as well as physical problems because of it. Whereas,  eustress improves the performance by motivating and focussing the energy in the right direction.
It is a general feeling that the result is always good in challenging circumstances as the person strives to do the best in a little stress. It might yield a positive result. Nevertheless, if someone has a sense of urgency to complete a task, this becomes a short term stress and is a positive stress. But, if one is stressed on account of incompetency, feels over burdened and is bogged down by the hindrances, he may feel distressed and have a negative impact on his capabilities. All these feelings are also formed at the tender age of childhood. Again the same reference should be taken into consideration that a child absorbs everything right from infancy and in his mind, dwell the childhood experiences. So, whether the stress taken by him/her is distress or eustress, is the learning of the individual in the nascent years. It is said that a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body, hitherto, impressions become indelible.
We recently had our Annual Day celebrations. The themes of our Annual Day’s are based on morals and ethics. “Shashwat Satya” as it was titled meaning thereby- pure and pristine truth, was surfaced with extremely candid questions of a child of class five. The entire play was a dance drama on famous personalities of the past and present like Kabirdas, Lord Krishna, Ram Prasad Bismil, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Lata Mangeshkar, who with their dauntless courage and commitment enthused perseverance and patriotism in posterity. At the climax of the show, this small child asks a few thought provoking questions to the audience, which left them contemplating to the core of their hearts. His query was that if the adults keep two or more mobile phones and talk indiscriminately whereas if a child even plays with it, why is he considered to be incorrigible? As it is the parents’ who provide the mobile to the child. Similarly, if an excuse is made by the adults to shun any responsibility, it is justified but what if the same is done by a child, why is he labelled as a liar? They teach the lesson of punctuality in life and work, however, do they practice it themselves? The manner in which the adults speak with their parents, is very blatant and harsh, still why is their demeanour never objected? Parents are the ideals not only in words but also in deeds to their children and they need to inculcate all those values and virtues that they expect their children to follow.  Be it Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel or Mahatma Gandhi, the friendship between Lord Krishna and Sudama, the sacrifice of Ram Prasad Bismil and his intense patriotism, all these feelings should be poured unto the students like nectar. If the thoughtless actions of adults are reasonable, then why all the emulations of the child are unjustified? We adults might not realize the shift of our behaviour from morally correct to socially defiant as this transition is effortless and common. Adding to the misery, the aspirations of parents for IIT and other degrees of repute in one of the big cities, popularly known as ‘education hub’, is taking a toll on the lives of the students. Perhaps the student does not realize its serious repercussions, so the parent will have to take the lead to make him understand and also should give him the confidence to succeed. Though, success might have a different definition for some. We need to understand and critically analyse our own actions at the first place and then preach the children about right and wrong. The immense potential our kids and teenagers have, has to be recognised and channelized. Unless this is done, the adult demeanour will always be an apple of discord. In this case, the onus lies with the family members, other adults and teachers, to mould the primitive years of children in a prudent manner so that the same can come handy to them later in their lives. Freedom given should also be discreet so that the child comprehends his rights and duties. Patience at home, school or work also has to be taught in order to create a peaceful society. Home and school i.e; the parents and teachers will have to share this responsibility collectively.
Media is indispensable today and a major role is played by the media in such circumstances. Only if the role is one of ‘responsibility’, media with the power of pen can transform lives. It has been done in many cases a number of times.  Putting the negatives on a back burner and promoting the good in the society so that the children can learn, understand and follow it, is the real role.    
It is my request to the readers to view this subject earnestly and ponder upon it. The visibly hidden traits will be discovered at an individual level by introspection and analysis of our acts. What we as parents, teachers, elders and responsible citizens can kindle is, that our words and deeds should match.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Judiciary and Education

Education is the right of every child away from the boundaries of being rural or urban, rich or poor, marginalized or migrants.  The RTE since its implementation has also made its way through the country. The subject that I wish to share with the readers here pertains to the recent decision taken by Allahabad court which has raised an alarm especially in the clan of government employees. The employees now will have to admit their children in government schools only, failing which the government will extort the same amount that goes as fees of private schools, from their salary. It was so prudent on their part to have thought of such an imposition in the benefit of the children. Undoubtedly, this will improve the deplorable condition of the schools and also enhance the quality of education. Private schools that have seen a boom in the last decade and a half, became the choice of the elite on account of the facilities, quality of education and state-of-the-art infrastructure provided to the learner which further satisfied the parent who readily shelled out the required fee from their pockets. However, the government schools are unable to meet those investments and expenses, hence the deterioration. Kudos to the policies of liberalisation, that the people started withdrawing their wards from government schools to be admitted in private schools, which led to a major reduction in the number of students in government schools. Moreover, people also pondered about the exposure given in private schools that made their children globally more competent and self-reliant. In any case, a parent whether employed with government or private, will want every facility to be extended to his child. As a result these schools flourished and the other schools remained in the era of darkness. The staff too took all the advantage of such a condition of neglect. Absence from school or signing and moving out to complete personal errands, using the resources of the school and taking undue advantage of the same, no teaching spree, are some of the issues that necessitates to be addressed strongly, but the apathy of government is unable to curb and control all this clutter as their coffers remain filled. Consequently, even the rustics now are interested in sending their wards to private schools so that they become akin to the city dwellers. Not forgetting to mention that education bridges the gap, minimizing disparities.
Nevertheless, the persisting nagging question is about the interference of judiciary in this outlandish decision. Unfortunately, in our country the rules are made but never enforced, so the same happen with the above mentioned case and all of it went down the drain. It is relieving to note that the judiciary is concerned about the upliftment of the government school but on the other hand they are also putting the private schools under a strange scrutiny by not allowing them to increase the fee structure along with admissions under RTE being mandatory. This is like burning the candle at both ends, as the private schools do not compromise on the quality of education, infrastructure or facilities and much to their helplessness they also can not increase the fee to meet the recurring expenditures. Hence, there should be some justice for them so that they are able to meet the expenses, maintaining the benchmark.
Another point to ponder is the statutory decision of admission privilege to an RBSE student over a CBSE student by the government of Rajasthan, even when the RBSE one scores much less than the CBSE candidate. Besides that, there is an RBSE quota or reservation in refined terms. The case of a student scoring 86% in stream of humanities in CBSE was denied admission in a state college, whereas an RBSE with 64% was given the admission. This new percentile formula is indeed a blessing in disguise for the Rajasthan board students but has become a curse for the CBSE students. The reported number of admissions has drastically decreased in the colleges of the state as a result and the CBSE students are migrating to other states seeking admission in colleges of repute. This is clearly a case of alienation; a student of the state is not given admission only because he studied in Central Board. Ironically, the text books, curriculum and even the pattern of examination in both the education boards, is just the same. Now when there is no difference here, then why should the state government be so insensitive to the other board students’. The CBSE student is forced to migrate from his own state to the other which is causing brain drain or brain migration. Is it in any case justified? Why should we then expect these students to have empathy, affinity or any connection with the state? It is again a very arbitrary decision on the part of policy makers.
To add to this, the recent decision of some of the newspapers about not highlighting the news of achievements of private school students also has left everyone baffled. Whereas, the achievements of government school students, even if they are trivial, will be highlighted. This discrimination may be uninspiring for those zealous children private school students’ and their accomplishments will lie latent. Though the students will continue to reach their milestones and achieve success but if they are appreciated through a media, it will give them more motivation to seek further success as it will be justified to recognise their honest efforts. The implementation of such drastic decisions have there own implications and oppositions. Education is a fundamental right that can not be denied. Hence, the need of the hour is to bring about an awareness in the citizens who are also the stakeholders to persuade the policy makers for a more suitable path taking into consideration the pros and cons of such impulsive decision which might be challenging for a few, as every parent can not afford an undergraduate degree for his child from another state. There can be many more areas of genuine concern like eradication of illiteracy from the state, social upliftment of the underprivileged, controlling price hike etc; which require greater attention. The teachers and parents can voice their opinion in this regard and prevent the migration of hundreds of genius brains, who will certainly do good for the state.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Respect creation by helping others

A question was asked by somebody about not reacting to something wrong happening around us? But at the same time criticize a lot sitting in the drawing rooms or disparaging during the day. The question was more in reference to specific things happening in the city, state, country or the world. Many examples were cited by the concerned person like an old man wanting to cross the road and not many people bother about the same. Due to an accident somebody got injured and crying for the help and most of the people are in hurry so they do not extend any help. Some people fighting with some body and the onlookers do not intervene. There are thousands of such examples which should make us feel ashamed. This is more so in case of our country and the situation is getting worse day by day leading to rampant hooliganism. There can be a small crowd of 5-10 people and they can spread the ruckus in the area and nobody would react to the situation. We have celebrated 69th independence on 15th August 2015 and paid tribute to the forefathers who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country. This has been 68 years since independence and the country has progressed a lot in almost all areas of life. The literacy rate has gone up, and in this the participation and contribution of the women has also been quite noteworthy. The number of schools, colleges and universities has gone up manifold. The green revolution and white revolution have helped improving the health of people. The hospitals and industries have grown quite significantly and the country is in the process of becoming the medical destination for the people of world. The roads, rail, air transport has also improved considerably in comparison to the state of affairs at the time of independence. The status of living has gone up for majority and the rate of improvement is picking every year. The youth of the country has got its presence registered and recognized all over the world. The individual contributions have also been significant. Our scientists, mathematicians and entrepreneurs are well known for their intelligence and acumen. Our teachers of the schools and colleges are still considered to be among the best. The people of Indian origin working in other countries are contributing for the country they are living in as well as for their own country. But one area where we seem to have lost track is our strength of togetherness. The concept of first feeding the person living in the neighborhood and then eating self is somewhere forgotten in the process of progressing in other areas. The concept of the people sharing their happiness and the sorrows is eluding now and probably this is the reason some people have realized that our people have become selfish due to which we tend to ignore to react to the problems faced by others.
Our children are born innocent and they imbibe the things happening around them. The adults will have to play a proactive role in changing the mindset and make all happy as far as possible. We all know it so well that if somebody in the family falls sick then he/she is looked after very well. The same should be extended to the people living in the neighborhood and city. If this happens then most of the problems of the society will be solved.
If we can think of ‘We’ and ‘Us’ instead of ‘I’ and ‘Me’ then nobody will be left on the road crying for the help and nobody will sleep hungry around us. Development and progress are vital and unavoidable but at the same time family, society and the nation cannot exist without a balanced blend between these sides of a coin. We must celebrate our progress but at the same time try to help those who need and bring the last person of the society forward so that we all could work together for the benefit of the people because even if one person is left behind that is also a grim facet on the progress sheet of the nation. Planet earth is the most beautiful and happening planet which has given birth to thousand of species and the human beings have been the most intelligent ones, who can think and act in the field of development.
If I talk in context of our country only, there are numerous examples in which it is proved that the people chose the path of pain to make others happy. If an individual feels pained due to some problem to his own then he would definitely react in the similar way in other situation. But the real problem is that many parents have assumed the progress of their kids of getting good marks or the grades in their academic performance. They push the children so much into it that the kids do not get time to interact with the parents, grandparents or any other family member. They are taught not to waste time in sitting with someone who might be sick and just concentrate on their work. The mothers would not let the daughter help her in the kitchen or household work because she wants her to top in the class or in some competitive examination. This may be right on their part because every parent wants his/her child to be relaxed and get more time for studies but they should understand that life skills are also equally important for the kids to learn and the same cannot be taught but imbibed in our day to day life. If the children sit with their grandparents and help them in some way then this makes them to empathize towards elders. One parent told that his son inculcated the habit of reading because in the childhood he used to read the stories to his grandfather who was not well and was not able to move. The child used to fetch glass of water or medicine for him and that made him learn to help the ones in the need of help. Hence, parents should not consider this as the waste of time but a great opportunity of learning the life skills.
Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi very rightly mentioned in his speech that the children have taken the cleanliness campaign more seriously than the adults. They are the ones who check the parents or other people in the family not to litter here and there. The children get confused when they find the adults fighting with each other on almost no issue. They want to be happy and friendly with everyone and we the adults unknowingly teach them something else. Let this planet earth be more beautiful not only with its nature and resources but also with the positive thoughts which we all possess. Let us seek freedom from negative thoughts towards others and that will be the real progress which will help all the people around us. Let the sorrow of my neighbour make me sad so that they do not feel alone when they need us the most. Let us try to think for the society then only for self which will make life more beautiful.