As We Celebrate 'Children's Day', 14 November!
by Elizabeth Menon

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As We Celebrate 'Children's Day', 14 November!

Today, 14 November, we celebrate as 'Children's Day', the birthday of Nehru, paying homage to our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, whom we all affectionately call 'Chaacha Nehru'! And there's another reason for Malayalees to celebrate this day Yesudas started his odyssey on this day in 1961, with 'Jathi bhedam Mathadwesham ethumillathe sarvvarum Sodarthwena vaazhunna Maathrrikaa Sthaanamaanithu'! As we celebrate the Children's Day, let's not forget that we have to make a conscious effort to look after our children, which includes being on the look out for the safety of all children, and one should remember that they are children till they reach 18 years of age! Let us take a pledge today, to take care of all our children, young and old, till they are 18 years and beyond, in our homes and on the street!

Celebration comes easy to us, but the reason for that celebration and what that implies also should be paramount in our thoughts! Women and children are attacked, molested and raped in our trains, streets and even in our homes and it is about time we do something about it. It is not enough to be aware of it, but definite ways of dealing with it have to be put in place, preventing it and making sure that the existing laws are enforced! Educating the public and ensuring that the children are taught the right values at home and in schools, so that when they are out in the world as adults, they learn to respect women and children. They should realise that these very women and children they look on as sex objects are somebody's daughters, sons, sisters, mothers or even grand mothers!

We have laws in our country for prevention of trafficking, sex offence, domestic violence, etc, but enforcing these laws are marred by corruption, complacency and inefficiency! Media also has a moral responsibility in making sure that justice is done. It's not enough just reporting the event, but they should delve into what was done by the authorities and what can be done to prevent similar occurrence in future, and the role public can play! And the punishment must fit the crime without being influenced by power,money or who the culprit is! Let us dwell on all these grim happenings in our society on this great day!

© E Menon



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