Over the past few days, we have been watching vivid details of what happened in Mumbai. Newspapers and magazines are full of the same stuff and people everywhere have been talking about this. Images of NSG commandos descending on the Nariman House, flames coming out of the Taj, coffins reaching home, dead bodies scattered on the ground, frightened people running helter-skelter for their lives- the images are etched in our minds. Gunshot sounds continue to reverberate in our ears. What happened can shatter even grown-ups, what to speak of children?
Studies show that many of our children are depressed and scared. They have nightmares of gun-totting terrorists spraying bullets on people in crowded places. Many are scared to go to school or even venture out of their homes. Some are able to express their fear, but most are not. Some parents have understood the trauma of their children, but many have not.
Children should be full of energy, hope and happiness, but Mumbai incidents have taken away the childhood from many of them. What can we do?
Let us tell our children that things are not as bad as the Mumbai incidents make them out to be. What happened in Mumbai does not happen everyday and everywhere. Let us also tell our children that thankfully, there are so many good people around-those who love other human beings, care for them and are always prepared to help them. Let us draw the attention of our children to all good things in life- trees, birds, rivers, flowers, rainfall, sunlight…the list is endless. Let us remind them of all the beautiful and loving people they come across day in and day out.
Our children must think that the world is a lovely and safe place to be in and that we have the capacity to defeat the evil forces. Let them be hopeful and fearless. Let them get back their sleep… and smile.