Tomorrow is November 14th which is widely celebrated as children’s day, here in India. This day essentially commemorates the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. Since he admired children the most, his birthday is honored this way.
When I was at school it was a pretty big affair, with the teachers putting up programs for the school children and no classes whatsoever, essentially it consisted of song, dance and skit and then the distribution of chocolates.
Over the years it has become, for the lack of a better word, shitty. With facebook coming up in a big way all that you get to see are photos, newsfeed getting filled (over crowded) with people putting up photos from their childhood, seriously!? This is how children’s day is celebrated!!? Aargh! I can almost pull out my hair and scream in frustration.
In a country where there is so much wrong, all that we talk and do about is putting up photos.
This kid here, Mahesh, is one of my favorite kids, someone whom I love beyond words. There was a time when I was upset about something at school; I sat in a corner, quiet and sad. Within a few minutes he comes and sits right next to me, correctly guessing the reason as to why I was upset. We sat together in silence for some time and that was by far the most blissful time that I spent with someone. Whenever I meet him I ask him about his studies, if he does his homework on time and if he listens to classes. I call him my boyfriend and all he does is smile around and this smile is my most precious smile.
In a country with millions of children, most of whom have zero access to education, hygienic conditions and a safe environment to grow up, there are educated people like us who care more about selfies. It’s not bad to be obsessed with social networking sites but don’t we feel the pinch when we find little children begging on the streets? Somehow it is more comforting to put up our legs on the coffee table and discuss about the state of our country in the comfort of our homes instead of doing something about it.
To all those out there who are reading this, there are lots of things we can do.
- Donate, in case you don’t have the time to spend, do donate. There are lots of ngos who work endlessly and tirelessly to make an impact.
- If you are skeptical about the same, volunteer. It brings about immense joy to see and know that however small, you are working towards making a change.
- If you neither can donate nor volunteer, buy a few things, a box of pencils and erasers or books. Just walk in to any government school and donate the same, the children here don’t have the resources to buy the same and these things come for cheap.
- Celebrate your birthday, kids love cake and can’t afford the same, the kind of joy that shows on their face is worth the 400 rupees that you will need to spend/
Do things for your own selfish need, benefits of volunteering that I have personally experienced are-
- Happiness, the wide smiles that they have on their faces when you walk into the class, the high fives, the oohing and aahing over your clothes, how 50 odd children will fight for your attention, convince you that there can’t be anyone prettier than you, playing and braiding your hair, though mobile phones become an instant source of attention.
- You learn to appreciate life, looking at the condition of these kids all that you feel is grateful and fortunate.
- The feeling that life is worth doing something.
- Becoming financially conscious, I think of all the money that I have wasted away on frivolous things and mentally kick myself, just thinking of all the things that I could do for these kids.
This children’s day let’s try doing something that causes an impact, to put a smile on a child’s face 🙂