No Children's Day Without Concrete Plans For Their Future

Fr. Paul Lelen Haokip *

Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi , Post office
Children at a Painting competition :: Pix - Bunti Phurailatpam

Beginning of Children's Day:

Children's Day was established in 1954 to protect children working long hours in dangerous circumstances and allow all children access to an education. The UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children's Day on an "appropriate" day. Major global variants include a Universal Children's Day on November 20, recommended by United Nations.

Gone were my school days when we had to collect some amount to facilitate our teachers on Teachers' Day. Honestly, till today, I think the children are not adequately honoured on Children's Day. Once a man was asked after his four years imprisonment 'what he missed most'. He replied quietly, 'I missed the sound of children'. If you want to know the value of a child, ask the barren parents. They will tell you with tears of anguish.

Children's Day in India:

In India, the Children's Day is celebrated on 14th November, the birthday of the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly called Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru) by the kids, to emphasize the importance of giving love and affection to children, who he saw as the bright future of India. Mere remembrance of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru will be a sham honour to the man who envisioned the future of the children. Fitting tribute could be a discussion by the schools, colleges and parents to choke out steps to better the tomorrow of today's children.

Many functions are organized in schools, offices and other organizations. Most schools hold cultural performances on this day, run by the children themselves. Teachers also get involved, and may perform songs and dances for their students. The State and the Central governments also make it a point to showcase Children's films as part of Film festivals organized in many parts of the country on this date. All over the country, various cultural, social, institutions conduct competitions for children.

Children's Day for Sanaleipak:

You often hear the mothers calling 'o eigi sana', some even naming the children as sanathoi, mani-mukta etc. These are but ways they treasure and value their children. Our land is rightly called Sanaleipak, not so much because of the land per se but because of the children this land has produced. The children are the true 'sanas' who will take this land forward in the future. The year 2012 can be righty called a prosperous year in the academic sense as there were less bandhs and strikes which could hamper the intellectual pursuit of the children. Thanks to the elders who have made this possible.

But, look around our leikais, streets and open areas, you find children in groups with some intoxicants - talab, cigarette, liquor, dendrite, SP tablets etc. Where do you think they have learnt? Somewhere in their immediate surroundings, the evil seeds have been sowed by the elders. They could have been more influenced by sight (example) than mere rhetoric in the dead class rooms of the schools. The behaviors of the children foretell the future adult world. Violence, gang culture, hip-hop way of life and elimination theory has taken the upper hand to traditional ways of humility and forgiveness.

Mere diagnosis of the malady is not a remedy at all unless a concrete step is planned to rescue these future generation from their existing predicaments. The Child Welfare, Education Ministry and the Government of Manipur should spare no stone unturned to promote the welfare of children. Good children, good nation!

A Land of Contradictions for Children:

We fondly call it Sanaleipak where the lives of the 'sanas' are always at threat from bomb blasts, bandhs, strikes, AFSPA. We call it Imaleipak where the 'imas' are not willing to give birth to girl children while doubly happy to terminate the life cycle of unborn and innocent embryos. May be our land is reeling under the blood and cries of those unborn children.

It's a day of reflection for every responsible parent. Practically, every advertisement in the TV projects a woman. Even for male related thing, a woman is there to promote or admire. The male chauvinistic world is all for women but not ready to accept a girl child. How do we expect to have good brides or daughter-in-laws? Children are taught to be leaders but they are led by uncommitted leaders. They are taught 'sky is your limit' when they are not even allowed to roam freely on the land.

Big Troubles in Tiny Packages:

Spiral striped in black and white, the Aedes aegypti mosquito's bite is the main way in which the Dengue virus spreads. Dengue attacks at least 100 million people every year (India Today, November 5, 2012). What you see as tiny tots in the school are filled with constructive as well a destructive potentials. If not nurtured discreetly, we should be prepared for Big Troubles in Tiny Packages.

The best day for that nurture is to begin today itself. Every day should be Children's Day to correct them, chastise them, encourage them and motivate them. Today we have many home-alone-children while the busy parents work hard for the welfare of the former when what the children need most may be their physical warmth.


Children's Day is not just a day of celebration and show but a continuous process of planning for the future of your children. "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge"? [Ezekiel 18:2]. This implies that the deeds of the parents have great repercussion on the lives their beloved children. May this Children's Day be a time of good governance and preparation for the children's tomorrow.

* Fr. Paul Lelen Haokip wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer can be contacted at paulhowkeep(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was posted on November 13, 2012.

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