In a time when playfields are fast shrinking, the days of bandh in Nagaland have become a boon for children who have been deprived of outdoor games.
In the past few days when their elders are fully engaged in talks and tugs on ruckuses kicked up by the issue of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) election, bat wielding children saw green and soft fields in empty colony lanes and deserted market corners to plant their stumps and dreams in.
If their elders say that the ongoing agitation is the pent up anger of the people on the government, children’s frustration too find a space to spew over in this time of distress for their senior family members.
The callous and skewed policies of the concerned authorities can trigger a disaster but not as much disastrous as the negative effects informed by the disruption of the normal growth of children, both mental and physical.
It is no exaggeration to say that school bags have become heavier by the year and fun times more limited for the growing children. This is not a new argument advanced to find a reason as to why Jack is a ‘dull’ boy.
Nuanced debates of what constitutes ‘quality time for children’ have been further ruffled by our obsession of so called development. This obsession, in fact, is responsible for all the ‘ailments’ the children suffer today. This resultant apathy and indifference is here to stay as long as our ‘development’ obsession blinds the authorities.
As we know, childhood is a period of curiosity about things around. Development of children in various realms cannot be enhanced unless required facilities are met, and, playfields are one of the vital thriving grounds in this progression.
The attitude of today’s society seeing their children as ‘commercial and decorative’ beings has reduced the whole affair into artificiality. Seeing this, it will not be too much of a comparison with the manner of the Broiler chicken keeping.
When we say shrinking of playfields in our towns, it is a matter of great concern. One is even more concerned due to the lack of concern shown by our society in this area. This scenario has brought about distortions and disruptions in our inherited lifestyle. Our society, with utmost urgency, should address this concern so as to enable our youth to survive the distortions and disruptions of our inherited values, and at the same time, to dismantle the progress of artificiality which is fast weaving into the warp and woof of our lifestyle today.
To dilate this issue is a matter of immense importance.