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Children in tears

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I wished they had made the doors of the room thick enough not to let any sound seeping through. Nor the wad of cotton that I had stuffed into my ears was of any help. The anguished cries of my grand daughter, Kriti, kept hitting me from outside and my eyes were already brimming with tears. I knew the kind of suffering that the child was passing through and my heart bled for her.

    In my sixty-four years, I had seen several heart-rending scenes of suffering. Not just seen but had gone through a lot myself and I had learned to take them philosophically. No emotional upheavals left me with misty eyes any more. In fact, I had become tougher than I ever imagined possible. You would find it hard to believe me if I told you that the tear-jerkers on the TV leave me laughing uncontrollably. Instead of going insane with anger at urchins pelting stones at the hapless stray dogs, I just smile indulgently at them. The goats arrayed in front of the butcher’s shop watching their kith and kin being mercilessly slaughtered and waiting for their turn with a resigned look do not tug at the strings of my heart any more. The pictures of accident victims make me wonder what their last thoughts would have been when their lives were suddenly snatched from them rather than feeling sad for their dependents. I can’t believe how the efflux of time had made the fibres of my heart tougher.

    There is, however, one exception. The suffering of children continues to have the same impact on my heart as it did several years ago. Like the other day, I was driving to a star hotel to attend a Rotary fellowship and dinner. It is my considered opinion that the Rotarians and similar socialites worldwide spend as much money on entertaining themselves as they do on charitable projects. Those of you who belong to an outfit like that would know how these bashes are conducted and how much money is spent on them.

    In order that I reached there in time, I took a short-cut via a slum. There I saw a mother beating her tiny child mercilessly and the child was howling and moving around to avoid the stick. If there is one thing in this world that I hate most, it is the sight of anyone beating a child. The worst part of this particular child-bashing was that no one took any notice of it. I pulled my car to the side carefully avoiding a kitten, got down and rushed to the rescue of the child. I scolded the lady for being so harsh on the child and pointed out to her that she would be behind the bars if she was in U.S. for beating her child. I told her that if the child had done anything that did not have her approval, she should talk to the child and this kind of physical assault would only have a negative effect. I wanted to know why the child was being subjected to such a treatment and the mother told me that the child was asking for more food even after being fed with what little they had and the only way to quieten it was to beat the child and put it to bed. I became speechless on hearing this and was filled with remorse. I gave her Rs.100 and asked her to get something for the child to eat. I got into the car and drove back home as I had no mind to attend the bash after witnessing such a sordid incident.

    I had always believed that the suffering of an adult was mostly his own making. You might not entirely agree with me there but I could give you hundreds of examples in support of my statement. Just try and get to the root of any adult suffering and you would find that he was in someway responsible for it though he would blame everyone else for it. I mean things like cancer caused by excessive smoking, cirrhosis of the lever through excessive drinking, contracting huge debts through lavish over spending and so on. But the suffering of innocent children is thrust on them. Unlike the adults, they have no means to cope with their sufferings and so endure them in silence.

    Talking of suffering children, never in my life had I felt bold enough to see a child being administered an injection. Whenever my daughters fell sick, I only went to medicos who never believed in an injection. In the case of my grandchildren, I always plead inability to accompany my daughters to the clinic. I took a decision to this effect after a visit with them to a Doctor when I heard to my horror my daughter suggesting to the Doctor that an injection be given as she found it difficult to administer the oral medicines. Through my misty eyes, I could see my daughter growing two horns when she was making such a preposterous suggestion.

    Kriti’s suffering was something I could not face. I locked myself in my room hoping that the sound of her crying would not reach me but it did. I could not control my tears. I hoped that somebody would do something to bring cheer back into her life. But there seemed no indication that anything was being done about it. I sank to the floor and held my throbbing head in my hands.

    I suddenly heard a knocking on the door followed by my wife’s voice to come out. My daughter shouted at me to come out as it was already late. I opened the door and came out reluctantly. Kriti rushed to me and hugged my knees looking up at me with tear stained eyes. She knew that I could be her only chance to stop her from being sent to the school. But I was quelled by the fiery look in my daughter’s eyes and rendered speechless. “It’s her first day to School, Appa. Bless her!” commanded my daughter. I bent down and showered her anguished face with kisses feeling like a traitor and totally helpless.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2007
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  2. lathanarasimhan

    lathanarasimhan New IL'ite

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    Dear Sir,

    All your threads speak of the realities in life. I would like to share a small incident here.

    My husband goes for a morning walk and on the way back he picks up milk and vegetables. He has seen young children hardly six or seven years old are sent to buy cigarettes , almost everyday. We think this is definitely child abuse. These children do not cry out or shed tears, but the sorrow in their eyes pierces our heart.

    regards latha:cry:
     
  3. lakshminarasimhan

    lakshminarasimhan New IL'ite

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    While doing my social work in Bombay, I have seen the many terrible realities of Street Children - from ill health to problems of abuse. But what seriously traumatized me the most was their institutionalization in State Children's Homes. In the name of protection and rehabilitation, I have seen children being herded like cattle, brought up in loveless harsh environments with little social, economic or life skills and left the day they turn 18 to the world outside with no orientation or support. Many turn to crime or tumble into a hollow of wandering and homelessness. When contrast stories of these children with the ones left to the trauma of the street - it seems that children who have lived off the street have better coping skills while being severely abused.

    These State aided homes are supposed to protect and nurture - give children who do not have the conducive environment, a childhood . But they seem to become centres of Hell on Earth :idontgetit:. I have to date never been able to resolve this debate on whether institutionalization is good, or mentoring and protecting while on streets works better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2007
  4. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Latha
    I agree with you. It is a great sin to emply children on such errands and it makes me furious. Another thing that makes me angry is teaching children to tell lies on our behalf. Nobody realises how such things can alter the character of a child particularly at a very impressionable age
    sri
     
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  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Lakshminarasimhan
    That is a very painful picture that you have presented and it pains me a lot. I never subscribe to the idea of institunalisation of rehabilitating street children. Of course, there are a few good ones like Sivananda Sevashramam and Vidyakar's Udavum Karangal in Chennai but the State-run ones are awful. Only a fraction of the money that is granted for running the state-run ones is spent on these children and it is not hard to guess where the rest of the money goes.

    There is nothing like a one-to-one mentoring that can really make something out of these children. Most of the juvenile delinquents have had a bitter childhood and you will be surprised that some of them belong even to middle class families. Lack of love and personal care is the major cause that drive these children to bad ways. A lot of studies are being conducted and huge monies are spent on projects relating to street children but the real benefit of it is yet to accrue to them
    Sri
     
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  6. Lavanya

    Lavanya Bronze IL'ite

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    A well woven article... though Kriti's tears were very temporary and out of fright for the unknown ("school"), you have brought a totally serious issue to the foreground. As with anything else we cannot resolve everything for everyone - you tried to abate your sorrow by providing money - whether or not that mother used it to feed that kid is a totally different issue.

    Kids learn from a very young age that having a sad face or even trying to cry can wring many loved one's heart just enough to get what they wanted in the first place. Sometimes its all a survival tactic. While some other times the kid's aren't really at fault & the elders are just using them to vent - which is totally unforgivable.

    But on the flip side one has to remember that to spare the rod is to spoil the child! So no kid without the proper reprimand for the wrong doings can understand the right path. A couple of days back few teenagers shot another kid in our neighborhood, accidentally, while trying to work out their differences!! When you see such instances parents get reinforced to use the rod early than to repent later.
     
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  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,

    I did get fooled (as per your intention ? ) by your "deceptive" title that your post might be about abandoned or downtrodden children.

    I decide, not to look at your thread with a serious note ! Inspite of your writing about the unpleasant fate faced by some children, I want to enjoy only the humour in your writing. You are likely to comment

    Silar sirippar silar azuvaar

    We have enough occasions in our own life for the latter; so I vote for the former when reading your posts.

    When I read the first para, I thought you must have accompanied Kriti to the doctor for an injection and hence wrote that you knew the child's suffering ! This happens in every house, isn't it? Vish, my son-in-law (and now my son) used to refuse to take the children for injections & I was made to don the role of a "heartless veeranganai" always !

    Sri, your words

    I could see my daughter growing two horns when she was making such a preposterous suggestion.

    made me laugh uncontrollably ! Too much of an imagination, honestly ! Now, if ever I happen to meet your daughter,I must take care that this thought does not cross my mind and make me blurt out laughing !

    You show yourself as a compassionate human being, with your words

    I pulled my car to the side carefully avoiding a kitten

    But the end was a totally unexpected punch & very enjoyable too ! Kriti is blessed with an indulgent grandfather , who, I am sure may not have felt so, when his own daughter joined school. I have a living example in your friend at home & hence I write this. Now, tell me, does indulgence come with age or grand-parental status ?

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
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  8. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Lavanya
    As a parent, we should know when a child is crying in anguish or pain and when it is using it as a weapon to have its way. I was only referring to former cases. I too get irritated when a child gets peevish and cries incessantly to get what it wants.
    I still dont accept using the rod as a way to correct an erring child. I have seen that too much of use of the rod makes the child defiant over a period of time and when they grow up, it becomes very difficult to handle them. There are milder punitive measures and there are methods followed by enlightened mothers like our ILite Malathijagan.
    My parents never laid a finger on me or my brother and whenever we became a bit difficult to handle, my mum would stop talking to us or forego a meal and that was enough to bring us back to our senses! My brother rose to become the Chief Secretary of Govt of Tamilnadu froma very humble beginning!
    Sri
     
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  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Chithra
    Whenever I post a thread here, I earnestly hope that the faint touches of humour do not go unnoticed! Do you know why? I find it easy to write serious stuff but lacing it with humour requires a lot of effort.
    I do not know if you have read 'The Performing Flea', the biography of P.G.Wodehouse. Many of his readers would be thinking that he was dishing out humour at will but it is said in that book how he used to toil at every scene to make it humourous!
    I am glad that you are one of the handful that read and comment on the lighter side of my threads!
    Sri
     
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  10. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya,

    As usual, the title makes us think you are going into a different line......and the first para , made me wonder where you are leading us. But the subsequent paras were very touching, bringing out realities and hard truths.
    Liked the truth behind these lines....
    "!I had always believed that the suffering of an adult was mostly his own making. You might not entirely agree with me there but I could give you hundreds of examples in support of my statement. Just try and get to the root of any adult suffering and you would find that he was in someway responsible for it though he would blame everyone else for it."

    And of course the subtle humour, which you seem to be good at came out in the end, leaving me smiling at such similar incidents back home.....and how the children can really cry and get away with anything!:2thumbsup:
     
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