“Nakul, Navya, keep your iPad and mobile away, I am fed of checking you again and again!” Gita went on and on but not an eye blinked nor was there a slight shift in the stance in which the brother and sister sat, eyes glued to the screens of the electronics in hand. A look at their grandmother shouting hoarse or looking away from the display may cost them missing out on something more important!
Gita, their grandmom and Puneet, their granddad were trying all kinds of strategies to distract the youngsters from their favourite pass time- Call Of Duty, Fortnite, FIFA, Minecraft, God Of War etc. Not to miss the younger one watching Power Rangers, Fortnite and God know what all videos! There were temptations galore in the mixed bag of the grandparent’s moves to make Nakul and Navya forget about their obsession. At times, visit to the water park, offer of a treat to enjoy eating their favourite cuisines, shopping for their preferred board games (the aim was to drive them away from their choicest amusement.) But all their efforts were in vain. None of the wheedling games came handy. The grandkids refused to part with their toys. When rebuked for the goings-on, they had their own game plans! When the strictly decided screen time for them was over, on some pretext or the other, they smartly dodged Gita and Puneet. Long hours in the washroom, pretending to be sitting on the throne, the faking afternoon nap. Off and on, they were found hiding in their secret places, unknown to the ones spying on them to catch them red-handed, to continue with their passion. They smoothly outsmarted their loving, caring but awfully distressed well-wishers.
What a scene! Currently, this ordeal is being faced by every family and is a matter of anxiety in educational institutions also. The young learners, in spite of strict vigilance in every nook and corner, smuggle in the automated instruments to share their joy-giving, social media. That’s not all! There are serious debates, different responses going on in groups. Missing important classes for such an important matter is never a big deal! When on the lookout for reasons and answers to an appalling situation like this, the obvious and most predictable game commences, the blame game. Teaching institutes point fingers at the atmosphere at home, the parent’s counselling, negligence, disconnect with the children, their value systems and sometimes a dysfunctional family. The parents on their part refuse to take the brunt of the disturbing act. They allege that they send their children to a well-reputed establishment aspiring to see their children being trained in all fields of learning. They further assert that it is here the educators are expected to hold the hands of their kids and teach them everything from scratch. After all, they maintain, the learners spend half the day in school. Both, the parents and the instructors insist on standing their respective grounds. The result? The purpose is lost! Who takes the responsibility of grooming, guiding and sermonising the novice learners, the teens and the adult youngsters who are confused, have lost direction or are unable to systemise their priorities. Many of them develop a foggy vision, the reason again is apparent, the television, computer and the mobile world! At the end of the day, in spite of the affirmative usage of these sources of entertainment of sorts, without doubt they have some very serious, petrifying influences
It’s here the wardens need to step in. Not once in a while but as often as they see red. Also, instead of being critical of each other, it necessitates for both the custodians, the school and the parentage to hold hands, work towards the well being of the child, and from time to time make him aware of the right usage of the agents of temptation i.e. laying down some norms for the indulgence of communication, information and most importantly, the right time to reach out to what and why? Make them realise, again, together or turn by turn, without nagging or pressurising them of their responsibilities and commitments. Then undeniably, the boys and the girls are themselves responsible for their actions.
The challenge of addressing the issue is ongoing. There is no cause to get dejected and give up on our loved ones. After all, they are in our hands to be moulded and shown ways which lead them to a glorious future to realise their dreams. We the parents and teachers take onus of continuing with our drive to be with the youngsters and support them at every step and turn! Let’s not be afraid or panic today. We have to confront the fear and conquer it. Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall, together find a cure to the epidemic, eradicate its misuse by the youth, one fine day.
Written by: Ms. Reeta Sharma, English TGT, MRIS-46 Gurugram