Celebrating our children

Dorothy Victor

It is said that children may only be one third of our population but they are all of our future. No one understood this truth better than Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India.

A man of remarkable dignity, Chacha Nehru, as he was fondly referred to, carried in his heart the deep conviction that the development of today's children will decide the strength of tomorrow's nation.

He said, "Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow."

A nation can advance Pandit Nehru, a renowned writer and poet, believed only to the proportion its children are made to grow and bloom. It is with this belief that he paid much attention to the education and development of the children of India for whom he also cherished much affection.

He insisted that every child has value and urged all parents and guardians of children to tap and fortify that value. Nehru maintained that if we wish our children to succeed in future then, we ought to plan, invest and take an active part in their mental and physical development in the present.

Childhood is a short yet valuable period in the life of a person. It is in this stage that the foundation of an adult's health, knowledge, education, morals and spirituality is laid. A fully grown man's beliefs, attitudes and behaviour are the outcome of the environment and teachings of his childhood. Great care must therefore be exercised in providing a peaceful climate, inculcating the right values, enabling education, assuring security and inspiring ennobling qualities as fairness and hard work in the course of a child's journey through childhood.

Children are universally loved and prized. Channeling the enthusiasm and energy that children are bestowed with can help them grow into competent adults. Even so, evils such as child labour, child trafficking, child abuse and gross negligence stunt the growth of children incapacitating them from blossoming into worthy adults. As the nation honours Nehru on his 128th birth anniversary let us remind ourselves of our duty to join the fight for children's rights and to carry on his legacy in caring for and in celebrating our children.

Dorothy Victor

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