look at them... they are something these three.. dark glasses and all.. our very own genX..
this morning I decided to take a class.. and as we sat I realised that all was not quite as it should be.. most of the bacchas slumped and it took me some time to get everyone to sit up, as I barked instructions the way my pilates instructor does...
After some time and oodles of effort everyone did sit up, though most of them looked terribly ill at ease.. then it was question time and again I was faced with lymphatic kids and barely audible voices..
I decided that we would liven up the class and asked everyone to stand up and tell me what they had done this morning.. from the time they woke up to the time they reached project why..
Himraj started telling his tale and I was horrified to hear that all he had eaten in the morning was a cup of tea.. he revealed that he had had roti and potatoes at dinner, was carrying no lunch and would eat the small amount of free lunch that the municipal corporation doled out at 1pm!
As the class progressed I realised that barring a few kids who had eaten a resonable meal before coming, most of the students, all growing class IV and V boys had had a cup of tea with a rusk or a 'fan', a sliver of bad quality puff pastry...needless to say that those who had eaten well had stay-at-home moms!
In urban slums, when both parents work to earn the elusive rupees, this si what happens to children.. in the village food is plenty even if you are poor: some vegetables do grow in the yard, and mom makes healthy rotis with the cereal of the region, the goat gives a little milk and some local fruit does grow, the water is clean and you run in the open breathing fresh air... and above all there are no rusks or 'fans' as often there are no shops close by...
I am appaled at the poor posture of children in urban India.. where babies cannot crawl as there is no space, where fresh air is non-existent in the little holes you call home..
Is this the eldorado people seek? Maybe time has come for a reverse migration.. teach the children that the future lies in carrying back their newly acquired skills to the village where they come from..