By Sushila Stephens
A grateful nation honours its first prime minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, by celebrating his birthday as Children’s Day.
It is said, “A great man never loses his child’s heart”. Pundit Nehru loved children and was fondly called “Chacha” by the children who reciprocated his love in no small measure. This annual celebration helps to immortalize the memory of this lover of children.
Let us salute the children of India. Let us wish them “A Happy Children’s Day”. The following shares some light on why children are special.
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man”, said Rabindranath Tagore.
It is time for us adults to do some introspection to respond honestly to the above appeal of every child. Are we passive spectators of the crimes against children? I do admit that it is heartening to see quite a few individuals and organizations fighting against child abuse, child labour and injustice to children, in general.
In the 19th century, Charles Dickens’ novels that highlighted cruelty to children resulted in reforms for children, in England. A more powerful instrument of change today is the media that reaches more people than books do.
Are we blind and deaf to all that is portrayed? What more will it take to stir public conscience to liberate those children who have no childhood to enjoy? We must be sensitive and sympathetic to the needs of children and resolve to take pragmatic steps to alleviate the untold miseries of the fledgelings of our society.
Nelson Mandela rightly said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children”. It is a herculean task but nothing is impossible if we are serious about transforming our society so that every child in India is freed from the tyranny of exploitation.
Only love for children can motivate us to work for them. There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is Roots; the other, Wings. (Goethe).
May we turn our attention to “The Child’s Appeal”, by Mamie Cole
I am the child;
I have come into your world, about which I know nothing.
Why I came, I know not;
I am curious; I am interested.
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine largely, whether I shall succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, those things that make for happiness.
Train me, I beg you, to be a blessing to the world.