Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori once said that the greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. Today as we are celebrating Children’s Day, the one overwhelming concern in our society is how to inculcate a sense of responsibility and a feeling of independence in our children. Being responsible and independent are two pillars on which the foundation of a child’s upbringing rests. How we as a society or as parents or as elders are able to inculcate the value system based on the morals and ethics in children can determine our future.
The words of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, on whose birth anniversary on November 14 the Children’s Day is being celebrated every year, fits in. “The children of today will make the India of tomorrow. The way we bring them up will determine the future of the country.” These pearls of wisdom not only import a strong message about children’s rights, care and education, but also hold gravitas and lay bare a vision for planners to devise policies that would ensure the raw energy children are channelized towards making a society and a nation great.
Are We Aware Of Rights And Concerns Of Children?
The meaning of Children’s Day lies in reflecting on how well we, as a society or as a government, take care of our children’s rights, concerns and problems. Children’s Day celebration is not only about holding functions in educational institutions, gifting toys and medals to children or making the VIPs giving some charged speeches, but also about looking at the basics of children welfare.
Are the rights Imparted to kids being implemented for each child’s advantage? Is every child in the country able to avail his fundamental right to education, health, and family? Are they free from child abuse? Has the menace of child labour been completely abolished? We should be asking such questions to ourselves not only on November 14, but on every day before and after this day
We Must Do Our Best For Children’s Welfare
I know at our individual levels, we wouldn’t be able to change the overall scenario, but we must do our bit. We must spread awareness through social media or word of mouth or through writing about how important it is to give children an environment where they can thrive. We can work at a micro level for imbibing in children a sense of independence and respect and let them frame their own thoughts, and become masters of their own identity.
Moreover, the essence of Children’s Day also lies in not differentiating between a girl and a boy child. Our message to the youth must be to not succumb to peer pressure, to perform as per their ability, and to not shy away from asking for help with stress-causing psychological situations and issues. The new India is now open to opportunities, with respect to academics, ideas, and growth. Our youth are driven by passion and enthusiasm. They can be helped and supported by giving them direction to pursue their interests.
Added Significance Of Children’s Day In Kashmir
In the context of Kashmir, Children’s Day holds an added significance in the sense that our society has to be extra vigilant and responsible in ensuring the future of our wards is not being sacrificed at the altar of blood merchants, who have been trading the blood of Kashmiri innocents for their nefarious designs and vested interests for many decades now.
Kashmir has seen the worst of times ever since the militancy perpetrated by Pakistan started in early 1990’s. Our children were the main sufferers. The three decades of Kashmir violence has resulted in Kashmir getting an unprecedented number of orphans, maimed children, widows, and a generation of psychologically traumatized people. Our young were brainwashed by Pakistan to pick up guns at the formative years of their youth. The time when they should have been planning for their future, they were getting consumed in the raging fires of violence. The cycle is continuing even now, and we continue to lose our children to Pakistan propaganda which ultimately takes them to the grave.
Positivity, Peace And Prosperity
So I hope as a society, we in Kashmir, go for a deep introspection and do the course correction. Let our Imams, elders and social influencers make use of their platforms for an honest admission that Kashmiris were fed a wrong narrative about India by Pakistan. In the process thousands of our youth were consumed chasing a mirage. That is the best gift we can give our children on Children’s Day. Let this Children’s Day swirl Kashmir with the winds of positivity, peace and prosperity. Let us pledge to keep the motive intact and actionable to enjoy the day entitled to the youth and children in its truest sense. It might be only a date, 14th November, but let it sow a seed that will reap benefits in the coming years.
William Wordsworth used the expression, “The child is the father of the man” in his famous 1802 poem, “My Heart Leaps Up,” also known as “The Rainbow.” He used the phrase to express hope that he would retain the joys of youth. Let the children and youth of Kashmir retain the joys and instill in them healthy attitudes and positive traits so they grow up to become balanced individuals.