Children’s Day message- Mrs Damayanti Bhattacharya, Jasudben M.L.
Each child is special. Their uniqueness lies, as much as in their skills and talents, as in their questions, imaginations and sense of wonder. Some children may be good in sports, some in arts, some in science or some in business. Some are orators, others dreamers, some loud and expressive, some shy and conservative. But each child has something special to offer to this world. So, we strongly believe that ‘Every Child is Special’.
The UN celebrates World Children’s Day on 20 November while in India, Children’s Day is celebrated on 14 November. This date is the birth anniversary of India’s First Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru who believed that children are the real strength and foundation of a nation. We at Curious Times too believe that the holistic development of children is the first step in building a better world and we strive every day to do just that. We are also in constant engagement with the education community – students, teachers and educators. It is our cherished goal to make a meaningful contribution to the community by working and interacting with leaders in the field.
And so, this Children’s Day, Curious Times is delighted to bring you a special message from an educator, Mrs Damayanti Bhattacharya. She is the Principal of Jasudben M.L. and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary, Mumbai.
In your inspiring journey as an educator what different types of experiences have you had with children that make you believe every child is special? I believe that every child is unique and born with his/her own potentials. In my journey as a teacher, headmistress and principal, I have met many children who have affirmed my thoughts. I remember once going for a school trek to Matheran and I was unable to keep up with the pace and speed of the young teenagers as they ran up the hills and slid down on their backs. And soon I got left behind. After some time, I suddenly noticed a group of boys and girls who had stopped in their tracks when they saw me struggling to go uphill. They came back, held my hand and took me to the point we were supposed to reach. There was one particular boy who offered me some water to drink and actually took hold of my hand and took me all the way to the destination. I was touched beyond words by the thoughtfulness of the students and I knew that they were certainly going to grow up to be caring citizens. This incident made me believe that they too perhaps looked up to me as an older person who needed assistance. It made me see them in a different light. In my daily interactions with the children, I found that every child can be nurtured if they are made to believe that they are special and all of them can achieve their true potential. How they react to situations, interact with their peers, take successes and failures in their stride all reveal the individuality of the child.
At times it happens that children end up teaching something valuable to adults. Please share any such experience that you have had. As adults, we often forget the kind of power we wield over children. When my own daughter was about 4 years old and she had done something that I didn’t approve of, I remember like all strict mothers, I had raised my hand to “whack” her on her back. She caught my hand – and with tears streaming down her eyes she said, “Mama, you can’t hit me all the time because I’m smaller than you and not as strong as you are.” From then on, I learnt not to belittle children just by virtue of being their teacher and being in a position of power.
What steps should be taken collectively by Schools, Parents, Teachers and the Government to ensure that the special talent and uniqueness in every child is encouraged rather than measuring each child on the same traditional metric? Children should be allowed to try out different extra-curricular activities which the school must also endorse. School authorities and parents must understand that allowing the child to dabble in different areas without being graded or judged for their performance all the time makes them realise their own strengths and weaknesses. They understand what they are good at and what they may not be so good at and this can sow the seeds of a career path for them later on in life. The government should create a curriculum that allows these children to choose from a wide array of subjects. Equal importance must be given to all subjects and be considered as career options. Pay scales for everyone following different career paths should be standardised. For example, a music teacher should be paid as much as a maths teacher or an IT consultant. This will reduce the anomalies that currently exist in pay scales. Once this happens there will be equality in society and the world will learn to look at all skills (mathematical, musical, technical) in the same way, and children would be encouraged to try out different career paths. This will motivate the talented children to boldly pursue a career of their choice and therefore recognise the true talent of every individual, instead of measuring them all with the same traditional yardstick.
On the occasion of Children’s Day, share your message with your and your children on the Curious Times platform. Dear Children, I’m sure that the pandemic has pushed each one of you to the wall, but all of you have come out triumphant and you are a better version of yourself for it. The hardships that you have faced have taught you how to deal with crises in life. Consider yourself blessed because you got the time to strengthen familial ties. You may have lost a little of academic learning but you have proved that in the real test of life you will always stand tall and proud. Happy Children’s Day to all of you! And many many congratulations on your achievements.
Many thanks to Mrs Damayanti Bhattacharya, Jasudben M.L. and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary, Mumbai for sharing her thoughts on Curious Times.
Curious Times wishes A Happy Children’s Day to all the students of Mrs Damayanti Bhattacharya, Jasudben M.L. and Bloomingdales Pre-Primary, Mumbai.
This article appeard in
Curious Times online portal on 13th November 2021 https://bit.ly/3osruiX
Curious Times enewspaper ( Pg 9) on 19th November 2021 https://bit.ly/3FyCi68