On 26th January I visited the ,”Sarthak Prayas,” headquarter in Ghaziabad on the ocassion of our 69th Republic Day anniversary and felt overwhelmed to see slum children celebrating the republic day by reciting poems of national reconstruction and DESH BHAKTI.
It was indeed very pleasureful and privileged moments to be in the midst of the children belonging to the have not sections of the society being financially, educationally and socially assisted and equiped by this selfless organisaton under the selfless and dedicated leadership of Umesh Pant who and his family has made it their sole mission of life.
Leaving a job in MNC in the days of skyrocketting prices and devoting oneself to the cause of uplifting the slum children and children affected by disasters like several happening in Uttarakhand is something beyond imagination and Umesh Pant has made it possible. WOW what a compassionate and ambivalent gesture of generosity for the children of the lowest ebb of the society.
At present about more than 150 children of NCR slums and Kedar Ghati disaster victims are being taken care of by them. Sarthak has arranged a big library and the children collect there every day to equip themself with knwledge by going through the books.
Yesterday all the students of slums were delivered sweets, and warm clothes like jersies. Our sr. journalist friend Vyomesh Jugran and social activist Chandan Singh Gusain too donated few thousand rupees for the welfare of these economically deprived children.
I presented my english translated book on Kedarnath disaster,” Havoc in Heaven,” for the library. Kudos to Sr journalist and a renowned social activist Charu Tiwari, Umesh Pant, Hansa Amola and their entire team for doing this noble service for uplifting the lives and career of the poor and hapless students through education and taking care of their entire well being like providing them books, fees, food, clothes and above all making them the outstanding citizen of tomorrow. Keep it up Umesh Bhai.
Time is not far when everybody will follow you and there won’t be any dearth of funds and resources. The Almighty is with you and your noble endeavour. I fondly remember in one of the cultural shows held in Delhi’s Rajendra Bhawan auditorium by SARTHAK PRAYAS, how children of slums not belonging to Uttarakhand have so confidently performed on several Uttarakhandi songs dressed decently in the traditional attires amid applause and standing ovation from the audience. Hats off.
SUNIL NEGI, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum
Internet is filled with enough content and of such varied genre that it could be horror for adults and an amusement park for children. The content on the web ranges from inappropriate or adult content to unkind and simply rude comments to dangerous predators. You might want to look out for the last one.
Even after all these disadvantages is also provides opportunities to socialize with others and to learn or create. From now on trying to keep your children off of the internet would be futile. It would be like keeping them away from food or electricity. They’re bound to get online with or without your consent. Your job here in this case is to help them in taking good decisions when they are on the web.
There do exist some parent-friendly routers that you can buy, and software that you might want to use, to limit the access of your children to the internet and keep an eye on them. But even if we ignore the fact that this idea is not completely efficient, you need to create a mental framework that can keep your children safe online.
You might want to put more thought into this because there are no concrete rules governing children and the internet because of the fact that no two children are exactly alike. This exercise is just like keeping children safe after their homecoming. Some children might only need a curfew of some sorts, others a heavy grounding. Children in different age groups require different amounts of oversight and rules. Even within a specific age group, different children can have different inclinations and interests, and with them comes the problem of different needs.
Some legal guidelines do exist. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule was established in 1998, it creates various safeguards like keeping children under the age of 13 off of social media. Facebook has very recently attempted to outsmart the law with a version of its Messenger aimed at children of 6 years of age and above.
Problem is, even after such laws have been in force, millions of children under 13 years of age have found their way onto Facebook over the years, with or without parental consent. You need to buckle up and don’t give your consent as a parent. The rules are there for a reason.
The more you feed the sense of responsibility and rules to your children the dividends you will receive over the years will be larger. As the children grow they will find ways around any parental controls that are put over them. Your goal is to make sure that there is no need at all for such restrictions.
When and if you give your kid a smartphone, it is your responsibility to help them through the process of setup. You need to make sure that they know exactly how to create a strong password, and you need to establish strict ground rules over which kind of applications can the kid download.
You need to make sure that you are a good example to them. It is no good if they complain that you don’t spend enough time with them due to always being hooked on that smartphone or tablet of yours. Critically examine your own digital habits. This goes for not only the amount of time you spend on your devices but also for how you maintain them. If you keep up with standard security practices, like keeping strong passwords and updating your software, it would be beneficial for the whole family in the end.
You need do make rules about device usage for the whole family. Help your kids when they run into trouble, this way they can go on to help their friends by themselves.
It’s pretty easy for parents to track every text message and know every single app that their kids use, but that’s not the best solution. If they are surfing over non dangerous areas, keeping their grades up and have a good social circle you don’t need to meddle in their online habits at all. The key here is to communicate.
This way, if and when they do run into a trouble online, may it be harassment or some disturbing content, you’ll be the person the children would come to for help. This is way better than them looking for a solution on the internet.
The life of child labours working in hotels, restaurants and in rag picking at open dust bins and dhalaos in Delhi and other parts of the country is really a worrisome sitiation and extremely little is being done by the NGOs’, law enforcing agencies and government departments dealing with child welfare responsibilities.
Children of adoloscent age in a group of four or five seggregating degradable and bio degradable waste from dust bins and dumps of rubbish and picking plastic bottles on the roadside as well are the common instances visible everyday by all of us. Looking towards them make us feel pity on their extremely pitiable socio economic status.
Lean and thin these mal nourished children has no future of any sort, may it be relating to their academic career or job avenues. Majority of themare suffering from several skin and lung related ailments completely careless about treatment as meeting two ends meal and creating sustenance is their parents is their primay concern.
While some of themwork willingly as rag pickers constrained to spoil their entire lifedue to non existence or availability of any outside goverental support, many work on the pressure and instrction of their poor, dejected and hapless parents. What sounds shocking about this whole affair shocking is the fact that these poor children finally get into the trap of thieves, professional criminals and drig eddicts and kingpins and enter the narrow and dark lanes of dampened life of a druggist finally meeting a sad end.
Not talking of such rag picker children of India but in Delhi itself one can find them in thousands with no future and healthy life rather growing up as liability on the society as druggists, criminals, thieves and anti social elements. But who’s responsible for their such a petty and pitiable conditon. It’s we, the governmental departments responsible for their welfare drawing large financoal budgets, the NGOs who claim ofdoing so much for the children of the lowest ebb of the society against heavy funding from India and abroad, the big corporate houses who earn thousands of crores as profit but hardly allocate a minutest portion of it for looking afterthe welfare and well being of these most suffered lot, the rag pickers whose whole life is nothing but a symbol of hell.
Noble proizes are being presented in the name of discouraging child traffic and child labour but what about these millons of malnourished and uneducated rag pickers children of our society. Don’t we or our government agencies owe any responsibility to improvise their future who are literally leading a life in hell? When will we wake up? We want an answer? What’s your take friends?
A social welfare organisation wedded to the cause of socially, educationally, culturally and to an extent economically empowering the children of the nearby slums, economically deprived classes and from the down trodden echelons of the society celebrated Deepawali symbolising environment conservation by flowers and lightening of earthern lamps the DIYAS in their premises situated at Vasundhara amid the pivotal presence of writers, social activists, former bureaucrats and family members on 18th October on Choti Deepawali.
The children associated with Sarthak Prayas NGO run by Umesh Pant and his trusted colleagues gathered in the precints on a day before Deepawali and exchanged pleasentaries greeting happy Deepawali to each other and lightening of lamps including narrating their mutual experiences. They presented flowers to each others and guests present on these occasion and sought the blessings of their teachers and elders. Sarthak prayas is a dedicated NGO tirelessly working to empower poor and hapless students through imparting free education and social knowledge.
A library comprising of lot number of books donated to them on various subjects is used by the children to enhance their educative knowledge on different subjects and to inculcate in students the habit of reading and keeping them informed about the developments happening around them. A selfless organisation under the able guidance and leadership of Umesh Pant had also been extremely active during the tragic Uttarakhand disaster and in the aftermath by visiting the natural calamity hit villages into the interiors of the Kedarnath valley and delivering material and medicinal support to the disaster victims.
They very often visit the affected villages and try to provide them substantial help in kind as per their limited capacity and calibre as well as commitment towards the cause. On 18th October Sarthak Prayas celebrated environment friendly Deepawali with 40 children of the slums and their families at their precincts at Vasundhara, Ghaziabad.. Sweets were distributed alongwith merry making with the children on this pious occasion.Those who participated in this modest Deepawali festival at Sarthak Prayas were Umesh Pant, Eminent literateur Prem Pal Sharma, Sr journalist Charu Tiwari, Theatre activist Manoj Chandola, Hansa Amola, Girish, Kusum, Renuka, and Shitiz etc.
Everybody blessed the children and lauded the outstanding efforts of Sarthak Prayas to empower the economically deprived students educationally in order to make them better and well equipped citizens of the country in the near future. Uttarakhand Journalists Forum appreciates the laudable gesture and dedicated commitment of Sarthak Prayas who with limited resources is doing an exemplary job for uplifting the living and literacy standard of the unprivileged children of the society. Happy Diwali to Sarthak Prayas.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM