Nation Full of Happy Children is a Nation with Prosperous Future

My name is Rajan and I am a social activist. I completed my secondary education from C.B.S.E school and higher secondary education from a college under Bihar Education Board. Then I started to take part in various social work along with continuing my higher studies. I have been working in the social sector for the last four years.

Today I will talk about an issue which everyone understands but ignores, and these things affect the mental state of the child to a great extent. 

There was a time when I was conducting a program with children on behalf of my organization.

This program planned to inspire children in writing stories. I was advising them to write on global handwashing and informing about WASH. After explaining two or three times, my attention went to a child who seemed very nervous. I gently talked to him and tried to make him less nervous. But initially he was keeping quiet. After trying a lot, I managed to understand the reason behind his nervousness. The child was nervous because he could not understand what I was saying and he was afraid that his peers may laugh if he asked something wrong. Hence, he was feeling very nervous to be a part of the class and hence, keeping quiet. Then I slowly explained to him about the essay once again and he did understand it too. Finally, all children wrote the essays and submitted them. We started looking at the essay to choose the winner and the same child whom I re-explained once again stood third in the competition. His face was lit up as he received the award in front of everyone. The matter did not stop here and the incident after it touched my heart. After the completion of the program, when everyone was going home, the child came to me and said in a soft voice in my ear that, “I wish I had an older brother like you who would have understood me and encouraged me the way you did”.         

When you look at this, you must be concerned about the silence of the child. He neither asked any questions to his friends nor he asked me. We need to think why was he silent? There can be many reasons behind his silence but I would like to discuss something about our society which triggers such silence. I am not claiming that it must have happened to the child but the things I am about to talk might make a child silent. 

There is a caste system in our country in which some castes are considered as higher caste and some castes are considered as lower caste. In rural areas and in our village, no boy or girl can marry in another caste. If someone violates the rule, then there is an informal body in the society which orders to ostracize the families of lower caste in the society, especially people belonging to lower caste are poor too. They will not have any right on anything in the village. Neither they can talk to anyone nor they can buy anything from the village shops. They are not even allowed to collect fodder for their livestock or can’t walk on someone else’s field. They will be totally isolated from society. The children from the isolated family are deeply affected since children are unaware of such discrimination and sudden ban on their movements make them under confident over time. They become depressed due to discrimination and it makes the children silent.

Another reason behind children’s silence could be child sexual abuse. When a child is sexually abused then it often happens that the child, especially a girl child receives ill behavior from her own family instead of receiving physical and mental care facilities. The people from her society break all relationships with her and her friends stop talking to her since their parents tell them to do so. No one can think what the small girl goes through at that point of time.

I do not want to say that the child I met in the writing program has gone through such incidents, but his silence reminded me that such heinous crimes against children may trigger silence in them. The very nature of any child is her/his playfulness, a healthy child leap around. One should immediately take care if playfulness is missing in a child. One should keep on talking to the child since s/he won’t be able to say what wrong happened to her/him, more importantly s/he does not understand what is wrong. 

The child I met might be going through some kind of difficulties which made him not to increase his knowledge or not getting enough support. The difficulties could be receiving bad treatment at home when he asks something. Probably, there is a lack of emotional attachment or lack of friendly atmosphere at home. I mean to say that we have to develop a good environment for children where they can feel free, and can portray her/his view without any hesitation. Hence, the decision-making power develops in children and their mental ability rises.

When there is any tension in the village, the village society ostracizes any family and does not even think about the children of the same family. When discrimination starts, the child starts facing many mental disorders and is left with uncertain future. We all must take care of children so that they should not be in a wrong way and neither physical nor mental abuse is acceptable with them. Therefore, everyone has to come forward to deal with these things and then there will be hope towards a new path of welfare.

We all must see that children should not be treated in a wrong way. Neither physical nor mental abuse should be done to them. Therefore, everyone has to come forward to deal with these things and there is a need to be aware of these issues, only then there will be hope of opening the path of welfare. Then only we can hope for a better nation as it is said, a nation full of happy children is a nation with a prosperous future.

Rajan Kumar

As a young leader, I would always like to develop positive and harmonious thoughts. I envision a society where all human beings are safe and free from exploitation. Where all people understand their duty and responsibility. Through this program I can positively influence others and also be recognized as a change maker in the community.



Youth Voices for Change is an initiative of the Down To Zero Alliance that seeks to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents by amplifying the voices of young leaders for change in Latin America and Asia.