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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Coronavirus pandemic: Helped by parents, children are doing charitable acts

In the last few days, heartwarming stories of children making contributions have made the rounds.

Written by Prerna Mittra | New Delhi |
April 21, 2020 10:26:53 am
children doing charity in lockdown, initiatives taken by children amid pandemic, parenting, indian express, indian express news Children can be encouraged to give away their old toys and clothes to those who need them more. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Whoever said charity begins at home has been absolutely correct. The future of the world, however bleak it may seem right now, can still be shaped by younger generations. Which is why, lessons in charity and good deeds are pertinent, especially now, given the circumstances.

Mumbai-based Tasneem, a teacher, and her six-year-old son Arhaan, for instance, have been doing their bit for a while now, to make life easier for those who are still showing up for work. “Arhaan wrote a small poem a few days ago to thank the medical fraternity. We then sent it to a few doctors that we knew, posted it on Twitter, etc. It is not just about telling him, I am also making him watch the news so he understands what is going on and why we are thanking them,” Tasneem tells indianexpress.com.

By nature, children are curious. They want to know the whys and the whats. “He has to understand the scenario. Healthcare workers are away from their families. And even if they do come home, they have to stay away from their children. Recently, we had the garbage collector come home to pick the garbage. My son had opened the door, and he said: ‘oh, they are coming to work; they are not in lockdown?’ That is when the talk started,” Tasneem says.

Tasneem has been telling her son that people who are working on the frontline are the real heroes. Arhaan, meanwhile, has been making videos thanking them. “In our building we have the watchman and the gardener. Now, Arhaan asked me where they are getting their food from. The other day, he went down and gave them some biscuits; I allowed it because it was safe. He insisted we make tea — I helped him and I don’t know how it tasted, but he tried and we went down and served them. He also served them water, because it was so hot and they were working outside,” she says.

In the last few days, heartwarming stories of children making contributions have made the rounds. For instance director Farah Khan’s 12-year-old son Czar Kunder, recently composed a song titled ‘Need To Survive. His sisters Diva and Anya are believed to have directed and edited the video.

 

In the video, Czar raps extensively about the pandemic, finding a cure, how there still exist people who are not taking it seriously, and how humanity can only survive if it stays put until a cure is found. Khan’s daughter Anya, too, has been raising money by “diligently sketching for donations”.

 

Some time last month, this little boy from Mizoram also went viral on Twitter when it was found he had donated his entire savings of Rs 333 towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

In Mumbai, meanwhile, 15-year-old Anoosha Sehgal has been making sure senior citizens are doing okay in lockdown. Through her initiative Stay Connected 2020, the 10th grader has been ensuring that the most vulnerable group is kept physically active, engaged, and entertained. She tells indianexpress.com that she gets experts on board to conduct sessions, which are streamed on platforms like Zoom, so the elderly can learn and stay engaged and connected real-time.

“For instance, we got a nutritionist on board to talk about healthy foods that they can eat. Besides doctors, we have also had entertaining sessions like singing, and we are planning to play housie sometime in the future. The group has as many as 220 people, and most of them are from Mumbai,” she says.

Sehgal says the idea to start this initiative came to her when she spoke with her grandparents, especially her nani, who is in New York, US right now. “She is living in a small apartment and it gets really suffocating. She tells me she is getting antsy and annoyed being at home, and that she really wants to do something. She said she wanted to do drawing and yoga, and that is how I got the idea. Then, I spoke to my dadi here in Mumbai, and she said she wanted to sing,” she says, adding the engaging classes are held thrice a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday — for 30-40 minutes.

children doing charity in lockdown, initiatives taken by children amid pandemic, parenting, indian express, indian express news Parents can encourage their children to chat with grandparents as much as possible, says Rushabh Turakhia of Your Turn Now. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Rushabh Turakhia of Your Turn Now — an initiative that encourages good deeds by passing on a card, suggesting it is now the other person’s turn now to do something good for somebody else and keep the chain going — says parents alone can instill these values in kids. “They do learn from schools, but ultimately they learn it from their parents. If parents want their kids to be down to earth and caring, they have to be polite themselves. Kids learn from what they observe,” he says.

Turakhia suggests parents can encourage their children to chat with grandparents as much as possible, and teach them about technology. They should do some gardening in the lockdown period, which can make them kinder towards the environment.

He also says that children should be encouraged to feel for birds and animals, and with summers already here, they should put a bowl of water outside for the birds. “Kids can also be asked to clean out their own wardrobe, and make a bag of clothes, old toys, books, etc., which they wish to donate,” he says.

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