There are so many things around us which need to be corrected or changed as per the dynamics of the times. Everyone is so busy trying to chase a concept of success No one can afford to pause and think about the small hurdles they face. They make a way around it and leave it to someone else to remove. These days we hear about law changes and policy changes. News channels are exploding with debates and exposes. To battle corruption, to battle increasing crimes, people do need stronger criminal laws. But the mango people still need to grow a spine to stand up against any wrongful act and also a compassion for someone in trouble.
One evening I was taking my son to the neighborhood library. Suddenly there was a loud sound and I turned back in alarm to see an old man on a cycle with some load fallen on the road. There was not much traffic and it looked like he had bumped on some object or maybe a pothole. He was still down and his bags scattered around. People were walking up and down. Some stopped and stared. One lady on a scooter stopped and came up to him and helped him up. That kind of jolted me into action as well. I and my little boy picked up his things. He was not hurt, just in shock. After five minutes all of us were back on our separate ways. To help a stranger is not easy for us. We hesitate. That hesitation is exactly what needs to be changed. Be aware of our surroundings. We are part of a society. We build this country person by person. Our single action or non action has an impact. Each one of us needs to educate ourselves more on every sphere touching our lives. Instead of hiding in our safety cocoons we need to think and act about our tiny bit of nation building.
It feels now that a strong wind of change is blowing. A pack of young leaders trying to find their footing in the murky Indian political landscape. We can only hope that the changes we hope for come about at least in our lifetime. .
Some of the problems that gnaw at my mind are listed below with my analysis and fix ideas.
1. Improper Disciplining of children
Children are indeed our future. Any social changes we dream of can only materialize if the building blocks of the society are strong. Children need to feel protected and encouraged. Parents need help at times to think about their children in a different light. They are in such a chaos to earn a living and push children upward that they may unknowingly cause harm. Each child is a challenge and what the parent knows may not be enough. Every child needs to be taught the right from the wrong. Every adult the child encounters leaves a mark on him. Disciplining does not involve only punishment. A child must understand what was wrong. Though we love our children, often we lose our cool. Especially when we feel embarrassed of their actions or terribly inconvenienced. We tend to lash out strong words or even a beating. It only signals at our helplessness and lack of control.
A child should be respected just as an adult is. A child has the right to be naughty. He is curious and that is a very healthy attitude for learning. A child has the right to be wrong. He doesn’t know any better. We fill up the gaps in his probing mind.
Not every parent would have the temperament or the knowledge to handle children in a positive manner. Some parents are not even ready or mature themselves.
There should be compulsory parenting workshops. Parents should be given a picture of what children will do and how they must respond. Parents must be evaluated on how they are nurturing the child by regular health checks. Children should be questioned on how the parents handle punishment. There can be workshops in which the family learns to cope with adversity as a team instead of dishing out blame to each other.
Such monitoring activities should not erode the privacy of families but try to guide them. Also this will increase the communication between parents and children, so that they can understand each others struggles.
2. Overloading the children to perform
In the highly competitive world we live in today there is a very sad place for mediocrity. Even in their families an average achiever would not be acceptable. Excellence is definitely a worthy goal but not at the cost of joy and self confidence. A child is precious but very unique. Each person has a different strength. We cannot push them to excel and perform in an area that is not his forte. Hard work must be inculcated and appreciated but ridicule for not achieving should never be done.
Schools should find out the aptitude of each child and provide platform for that child to excel in his area. He should be encouraged and guided.
Parents should also be made aware of the potential in their child. Sports should be given more importance and training should start an early age. So many talented children would do so much better in sports when they are being pushed and prodded into books. Books and learning must not be discarded but they should be given opportunities to excel in their chosen field.
3. Poison laced vegetables and fruits
Every time I buy a vegetable or fruit I pray that it would be healthy for us to consume. I put it in salt water, I wash it innumerable times, still a fear lingers. If I spot a worm or a worm hole, I am actually happy. That a worm could live on it means that it is not doused in pesticides.
There should be effective inspections of markets. I would be supremely happy to see an inspector in every main market. Random sample checks must be done daily in all main markets. The inspectors must buy only from the markets they are assigned to verify.
Inspection of farms is also a must. The farmers should not be allowed to have separate crops for their consumption and for their business. The soil and the plants must be checked. The underground water in the farming areas must also be checked. More awareness drives on home checks for chemicals in any packed food or vegetables must be done. In this information age we get a lot of forwards regarding procedures while cooking etc but the food agencies must give regular bulletin in news channels and kid’s channels regarding packed food as well as vegetables and fruits.
4. Domestic Violence – Emotional and Physical
In a marriage the man always assume the position of power. The wife and her family are considered below in stature. Most arranged marriages are done when the parents from either side decide that it is time. Are the people entering into marriage ready for such a partnership? The parents continue to have their say in the marriage. The shadow always lurks. In an unhappy home bitterness and anger breed frustration and then slowly violence – verbal assault or even physical violence.
Every person planning to get into a marriage must undergo some counseling sessions to break the “husband demi God” myth. The evils of dowry must be emphasized. The girls must be made aware of their rights and help lines. They should be forced to think what they expect out of a marriage and if possible discussions should be done in which they can form a picture of the family they want to be build. A marriage training and readiness evaluation must be mandatory for registering a marriage.
5. Hassle of complaining in police station
A police station is no pleasant experience. A person who is already in shock from a theft, an accident or rape or any such crime need a less intimidating place to file a complaint. Also to follow up on the progress of the case, a police man is not ideal.
A police complaint filing center that is not attached to the police station. Like an interface with the people for the police .The people can come to the center to check up on the developments of their case and give any feedback on the police actions. The police should respond within set timelines and deadlines. There should be properly trained personnel for filing the complaints with all the require data.