As a fervent traveller around the country, having visited most of the megalopolises, often I have been asked to elucidate on those places which I had visited. The queries time and again revolved around some of the aspects like beauty, development, fashion, modernity, people etc of those places. However during my recent visit to my ancestral home for a wedding, I have been asked by a fifteen-year-old girl, a question that left me in thoughts.
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Since the wedding was more like a platform for rebuilding the lost relations, I was keen in talking with the 10th standard girl, who was my aunt’s younger daughter. The question she had asked was “Didi, which is safer city, Bangalore or Delhi?” Though I was not late in answering her question, however during the later part of the day that question constantly disturbed me. One thing I could remember about myself asking to a returning traveller was all about the food, places, people etc.
The concept of safety had never worried me in those young ages. But how fast the world has changed! More than thinking about beauty and fun in those unknown places, these little minds are worried about the lurking dangers at those places.
While interacting with my aunt the next day, I was told about the increasing counselling centres for children as small as five years, teaching them to give a suspicious eye to everyone other than their parents. Teaching them to shout, run and defend when attacked by someone. While she was narrating, I could really see the pain as a mother she was undergoing, the feeling of insecurity that would always elude her about her children.
I remember during my younger days, school was one safer place that parents relied on. Whatever be the thing if I was in school then they were contended that I was safe. But now even schools have become places that can never be relied upon. I wonder what a five-year-old child would understand about rape and molestation when all he/she would look for would be some smiling faces.
How unfortunate is the world that we live in! There is nothing like a safer place anymore. From megalopolis to little villages, there is danger lurking in every corner. Look at the world that we are offering to our younger generations. A future that would no doubt be dusky and dark. Look how fast we are snatching innocence from those little hands. How fast we are making them forget smiling! It’s high time that we come out and stop this. Let us give back their future, their smiles, let their innocence brighten.