This blog post has been contributed by Sukanya Badri.
When we talk about opportunities that exist for children today, how many of us actually realise that the quality of such choices is also very much dependent on where you are and your own social environment? The other day, I was talking to an old friend whose daughter is not yet a teenager. The girl goes to a reputed school and enjoys all the amenities an affluent family can provide. To nurture her creative orientation, she has been learning music and dance for a while. A couple of years ago, she was enrolled into a children’s Drama and theatre activity centre and has also performed on stage. .
Recently, this centre organised a summer trip to Broadway, New York to provide an opportunity for the children to have a feel for real theatre through special workshops. I was quite taken aback and also heard from my friend that her daughter had enjoyed herself thoroughly despite being the youngest of the troupe. Wow – an eleven-year old doing this! As metro-dwellers, many of us take such things for granted. Options are merely blocks away and it is upto us and the kids to make best use of them. My own daughter has gone through music, dance, theatre, swimming, tennis, etc. etc., before finally identifying where her calling is. But everytime I speak to my relatives who live in Lucknow, I realise how much the city you live in makes a difference in shaping the lives of children, along with the awareness quotient. These kids who live in Lucknow are bright academically but sorely lack good extra curricular interests.
Also Read: Nurturing Creativity
Limited options that are further constrained by a lack of awareness have made them into near couch potatoes, reveling in regional TV shows and the occasional movies and family outings. Irrespective of my daughter’s achievements, the mere fact that she has experienced things which her cousins have not has given a special status in the family. So much disparity between children from the same family but set in different environments can be stark and makes you wonder how things could have been for your own kids if the roles were reversed! I keep thinking, almost guiltily, if we could have in some way motivated them to think beyond the usual and do something different.
Also Read : Children and Creative Activities