Guest Author - Preena Deepak
Featuring just two months after Teacher’s Day celebration that occurs on 5th September is Children’s Day in India. Both these celebrations are curtailed within the walls of Indian educational institutions though the reasons they came into being have a much wider scope.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India is always remembered for his kind heartedness and desire to help the down trodden. On his return from studies abroad, he chose to channelize his learning for the well being of the country and lost no time joining in India’s battle for independence from the British rule.
Pandit Nehru was a writer and a poet and he had a profound love and adoration for children. He was fondly called ‘Chacha Nehru’ by India’s youngsters of his time and he enjoyed the company of children unlike most other grown-ups. His deep affection for children led to his birth anniversary, 14th November to be declared as Children’s Day in India.
On Children’s Day, which is a working day for educational institutions, special events are organized for the benefit of children. While some of these programs entertain, many also serve as a platform to encourage youngsters to show their talents. Cultural events, drawing and painting contests, debates, quizzes and games are all part of the merriment.
There is also a practice in some schools for teachers to organize special programs for the children. Just as in Teacher’s Day students honor their teachers, children’s day is one occasion where teachers entertain students. The day is set aside for fun and declared a holiday for any serious study.
In spite of the hype about Children’s Day in India, the fact still remains that Indian children suffer from various maladies. Taking the form of child abuse, child labor, malnutrition and lack of education, several millions of Indian children live in conditions of abject poverty and suffer from lack of care. Female infanticide is yet another pressing problem of the Indian community.
Pandit Nehru’s desire was to see Indian children blossom and build the future of the nation. His vision for them was entirely different from what the present status of children in India has come to be. Unless efforts are made to uplift the scores of suffering children in India, Children’s Day celebration dwindles into a meaningless puddle.