While browsing through the World Wide Web I came across couple of wonderful yet moving article about a charity organization in my home town. Reading the same clearly brought some tears to my eyes and yet I was proud that I was involved in making a difference in these children’s lives. I have been involved with this organization for 5 years now and have been sponsoring 3 kids. I am really happy that I have been able to bring some happiness to these kids. I just hope that god gives me more wealth so that I can take care of more kids in the future and see these kids happy as they should be.
I came to the US in 2003 for my studies and it was not until 2007 did I visit India for my vacation. Four years might not sound too long but it felt like it was an eternity when I landed in Chennai. It was a complete change and the development was alarming. In spite of everything good that was going around one thing I noticed during my visit is that poverty was still the same. There were still kids without proper clothing or food. There were still kids running behind cars and coming out to watch a train pass by.
I thought to myself things haven’t changed much as I had imagined. While some of my friends thought that it was the mistake of the parents of those kids but my argument was what did the kid do to deserve this? With that thought I came back to US after a month’s visit and I saw a mail which my roommate had gotten and it had a charity organization (Don’t want to mention the name as I am not writing this to promote any organization) name on the top. I went online and checked it out and found that they help underprivileged kids for their studies and food.
That gave me an inspiration and started a research on my own, found a credible organization and started to contribute for the studies, food, and clothing for one child for an entire year. It has been 4 years since I started the contribution and I feel great. I also contribute whenever I can for other social causes, like some natural disasters etc. in any part of the world. I just feel that such things can actually make a difference. I am not writing this to boast about myself or to prove I am great but this is something I wanted to serve as inspiration to at least couple of people like my roommate did for me 4 years back.
I never wanted to share this with people and wanted these things to be discrete but I thought sometimes such thing coming to open is a good thing. We are always ready to jump on rich people and say they don’t contribute enough. We lambast the politicians for not doing enough to the society but when it comes to ourselves we get defensive. Contributions need not be high, small ones work too. My Indian colleagues come here to US and involve themselves in various charity works. Some people even adopted US soldiers; yes it is very good cause but again none for the country we grew up in. I am not saying that no one contributes, like I said there are lots of them who do but we surely can be better. Again I hope this hits the right chord with the people and does not come out as a preachy article.
A lot of people do excellent work in India and I really salute them for their efforts. In comparison to them I feel that I don’t do enough but I am happy with the start. Whenever I get the child report sent to me by the organization it just brings a smile on my face.
Yesterday I was watching “Jackpot” on Jaya Tv and there was a video question which played Gandhi movie directed by Richard Attenborough. They showed the scene where Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Nathuram Godse and asked the question “Who killed Gandhiji?” Then the most hilarious thing happened. One of the teams said that they had “No Idea” and the other team said “Mussolini”. It was absolutely hilarious and Simran was shocked. Both the teams had kids studying in the 9th and 10th grades and the funny part was one of the teams History teacher was in the audience. You just had to see it to believe it. Not sure what the kids learn in School these days. I think I knew who killed our “Father of the Nation” by the time I was in 10th grade.
Catch the episode online if you can, it was absolutely hilarious. And we are thinking that the kids are getting great education in schools.
This weekend we have yet another movie releasing on the kind of pressure the kids go through in our education system. We had “Nanban” already this year, Amir Khan’s “Tare Zameen par” couple of years back and now it is Prakash Raj’s second directorial venture “Dhoni”. While all these three movies tackle different issues as its premise, the message is the same.
But I am not going to talk about the school system but a different kind of pressures the kids face these days. I was watching the auditions for “Airtel Super Singer junior” couple of months back and the organizers (Someone absolutely brilliant) has decided to include 5-6 year old kid in the competition. It is unbelievable as these small kids will compete against 13-15 year old kids. No matter how talented you are it is almost impossible to compete and win in a competition with older kids over a period of a long season.
But again I am not going to talk about the competition format either. This is about a single audition when a 6-7 year old kid came in and sang a song and the judges put him on waiting list. The kid suddenly stopped on his tracks and asked the judges “Appo enakku Veedu kadaikatha?” (Which translates to “Does that mean I will not get the house?) It was extremely funny and showed the innocence of the child. The competition offers the winner a flat worth 40 lakhs (roughly $80000) for kids. Isn’t that ridiculous? Obviously however smart a kid might be you wouldn’t expect a 5-7 year old kid telling their parents that there is a house on offer so I want to take part in the competition.
The fact that the kid mentioned that means that how much the parents have drilled that thought into the kids mind. This also shows the pressure the kid was facing when put on wait list. Was he nervous what his parents would say if he does not get selected? No one knows. I never followed the show after that and don’t know if the kid was ever selected. I can’t believe that the parents would want the kids to go through such rigorous competition at a very young age even though they know that the chances of winning are miniscule to impossible. The channel is at fault here too why you would invite such young kids to compete, knowing pretty well that an offer of house will make the parents to get the kids to compete at all costs.
Now with these reality television kids are facing different kinds of pressure from the parents. Not only they need to be brilliant and get rank 1 in the class but they need to compete in reality competitions and earn the parents a home? Let the kids be kids and have a nice childhood. They are going to be at the loggerheads throughout their life in the rat race of a schooling system we already have. We don’t want them to undergo the stress of competing in a reality show (A concept which even the adults have failed to master) at the age of 6. Parent’s ticket to stardom should not be through their young kids who hardly know what they are doing there and what the competition is meant to be. Apart from all this they are to compete with 14 year olds? Well I am not sure what Vijay TV is thinking. I will be surprised if a 6 year old would make it to the end of the show (Which roughly runs for 1 year) and win the competition beating a bunch of 13-14 year olds. Anyways that concludes my rant. Parents in India seems like they will never stop pressurizing their kids more and more.