Child Labour : a growing concern

There is a big difference in children helping their parents with chores around the house and children working day to night on roads, train stations just to earn food for their family. The latter destroys the child’s childhood, deprives them of their dignity, potential and harms them mentally and physically.

Child labour has always been a major concern for multiple underdeveloped nations and recently because of the pandemic and economic crisis, the number seems to be increasing. According to one of the UNICEF records, rougly 160 million children were subjected to child labour at the beginning of 2020 with 9 million additional children at risk due to impact of COVID-19.

Negative effects of child labour

Children are driven into work due to various reasons and poverty outstands them all. The consequences are hazardous since it risks the child’s health both mentally and physically and extreme harm can even lead to death. And most importantly it cuts ties with educational facilities, health care and fundamental rights, thus harming their future.

The worst kind of child labour encompasses forced labour, trafficking, debt bondage, forced prostitution, pornography, compulsory recruitment in armed conflicts and other illicit activities. Hazardous activities like working in mines or construction sites can increase risks of lung cancer, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, silicosis and several autoimmune diseases.

The difficulty of tasks and bad working conditions lead to premature aging, depression, malnutrition, drug addiction etc. These children from poor and disadvantageous backgrounds and many who are abducted from their families or trafficked because of war have no one to protect them.

Overview of child labour around the world

  • In South East Asia and Pacific, girls are sold to provide prostitution or work as domestic labourers and many are sold to work in textile factories to cover up their family debt.
  • In Africa, parents sell their children mostly for livestock. These children are either left to work in mines and construction sites or sold to become domestic workers.
  • In North America and Latin America, the majority of children are forced in prostitution or are exploited by drug traffickers.

{ credits: https://www.humanium.org/en/child-labour/ }

Quarantine Boredom

It’s been almost two years surviving in lockdown and still there is no escape from the boredom which comes along every now and then. Its either scrolling through Instagram, snapping on snapchat, binge watching on Netflix or napping. At this point no one tries to find a way that isn’t entertainment related.

Today we’ll discuss things to do instead of social media.

Staying away from social media will be hard at first, but it may cause you to try new things and have brand new experiences. You may find yourself trying things you never expected, and many things you’ve always wanted to do more of.

What to do instead of scrolling?

Firstly if you want to scroll then let’s try it with a different way.

  • Try scrolling with a productive aim along with a time schedule. Aimlessly scrolling for hours is just going to damage you physically and will just fuel your boredom. Target an hour in the afternoon and scroll through the posts you’d actually want to look at like recipes, restaurants, celebrity’s account, etc. This will actually serve the satisfaction of looking at the posts of your own interest.
  • Listen to a podcast. There are variety of podcasts from educational to comedies. Go with one that interests you.
  • Learn a new language. There are countless of apps that provide you with studying material along with being able to talk to natives of that language. This can help you even in future.
  • Write in a journal. Many of the people think how childish it is to write in a diary about your life but it actually benefits you. Jotting down your thoughts can be good for you mind.

When you cut out or lower the amount of time that you spend on social media, you may find time for things in life that you wouldn’t normally have time to do.

  • Organize your room or closet.
  • Clear out the useless subscriptions from your mail.
  • Clear out the trash your phone to increase your storage.
  • Donate the items that aren’t of your use but could benefit others like books you don’t read anymore, clothes, notebooks, stationary etc.

If you’re looking for things to do instead of social media, making money, improving your financial situation can help you now and well into the future.

  • Answer surveys. There are many sites that pay you for answering and testing products for free.
  • Edit content. Many websites or companies are always looking for aspiring editors and if you have the talent then you should go for it.
  • Find internships. Many many companies are open for work from home internships and you can find the ones that interest you the most.

Now the point here isn’t deleting or removing social media from your life completely but rather decreasing the amount of time you spend on it.

Chart Topping History of the Worldwide Famous Band BTS

Breaking all the cultures and musical stereotypes against Asian artists, The South-Korean Band BTS changes the world with their influential music and message of unity

By Laavanya Jain, June 30 2021, 4:39pm IST

By now, there’s less than a little chance you haven’t heard about the most sensational band- BTS.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan) or Bangtan Boys, is a South Korean Band which debuted on June 13, 2013 under BigHit Entertainment (now HYBE) with total seven members— RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Originally started as a hip-hop band, their music has evolved into a wide range of genre’s. Their lyrics, mostly focusing on issues like mental-health, school pressure, loss, troubles of loving oneself and also expressing their own struggles through the early years of their debut has touched the hearts of people all over the globe and also served as a cope up mechanism for many.

In the eight years since their debut, BTS has achieved the fame and recognition that many artists aspire to achieve but seldom attain. Their achievements have no bounds, going from being the first K-pop group ever to perform and get elected at Grammy’s to breaking the Guinness World Record for staging the biggest virtually attended livestream music performance.

After debuting on June 13, 2013 with their single album 2 Cool 4 Skool with its lead single ‘No more dream’ and their most latest Summer Hit ‘Butter’, BTS has crossed the global music industry, breaking numerous records and sales simultaneously. BTS also became the fastest group since The Beatles to earn four US number-one albums, doing so in less than two years. BTS has also appeared in the magazine’s lists of the 25 most influential people on the internet (2017-2019) and the 100 most influential people in the world (2019), where they were dubbed as “Princes of Pop”. Following the establishment of their Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF, BTS addressed the United Nations 73rd and 75th Genera Assemblies and became the youngest ever recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea due to their contributions in spreading Korean culture and language.

As BTS shifted from their hip-hop music genre to more diverse ones, they settled on expressing the beauty and anxiousness of “youth” and settled on the title “花樣年華” (Korean: Hwayangyeonhwa) which is loosely interpreted to define “youth” as “the most beautiful moment in life”. It explored the emotional agony of youth as well as its playful and brighter side.

BTS released their first English Single “Dynamite” on August 21, 2020, breaking the YouTube record for the most viewed premiere, with more than 3 million viewers, and set a record for the most viewed video in the first 24 hours of release. It also became the first Music Video to surpass 100 million views in less than a day. “Dynamite” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts with over 260,000 pure sales. It remained at the top spot for a second consecutive week, dropped to number two in its third and fourth weeks, and reclaimed the top spot in its fifth week on the chart. Dynamite also became the first track to get a nomination in Grammy’s for The Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category making BTS the first ever K-Pop group to receive a Grammy Award Nomination.

With the release of their new album “BE” and its lead single “Life Goes On”, BTS achieved their third consecutive number one on the Hot 100 in just three months—the fastest of any band since the Beatles in 1964 to do so—and became the first group in the chart’s history to have two number one debuts, as well as seven songs appearing simultaneously on the chart.

Their new summer single “Butter” which was released on May 21, broke Dynamite’s YouTube record for the most viewed premiere, garnering 3.9 million viewers and also became the most viewed video in first 24 hours of release, with 108.2 million views. “Butter” debuted on number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, staying at the first position for the consecutive five weeks.

In many of the interviews BTS has been on since the pandemic, they openly expressed their thoughts and struggles during the lockdown period and how hard they worked on their music and shrugging off the longing feeling to meet their fans (Army’s), to perform in front of them and to meet them eye-to-eye. BTS is a not just a band but a group of seven influential people who have broken the barrier of transgender and multiple superstitions about homosexual genders, encouraged people to walk on the path of keeping and loving themselves before anyone else, their songs acting as a coping mechanism for people suffering with depression.

“The fear of an obscure future as our daily lives turn upside down is a moment of realization of the self. The realization that makes me a true me, myself.”

-BTS, RM

Sex education in India

Sex education is the instruction of issues related to human sexuality and to help young people gain information about sexual activity including emotional relations, consent and awareness about sexual abuse.

It is often believed that these educative values would necessarily lead to identity formation and affect the behavioral patterns of the children. It has been observed that excessive ‘openness’ towards simply knowing about same gender relationships, especially when these relationships are presented in a positive way, can make child more likely to become ‘homosexual’. School is not considered to be the ideal place where much concern should be provided to the idea of homosexuality.

In India, topics such as menstruation and homosexuality are avoided and much more emphasis is given on HIV/AIDS infection. Regardless of the growing child abuse and rape cases, there is no heed paid to explaining these kind of issues to teenagers, let even differentiating between non-sexual and sexual touch. A study conducted by The Ministry of Women’s and Children Development revealed that 53% of children between 5 to 12 years have been sexually abused which was mostly the parents doing, legal guardians or a close member of the family. Many programs were initiated by the government to educate children about Sexual Education, body image, violence and abuse, especially drugs and other toxic attitudes like Adolescent Education Program, The Adolescence Reproductive and Sexual Health Education etc. were banned by most of the states because the programs content were considered ‘inappropriate’. There has been this constant claim that sexual education will spread risky behavior among teens and adolescents.

The sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents in India are overlooked or are simply not understood by the healthcare system. Due to the cultural and traditional “norms” of the society and their homophobic behaviour, topics like these are prevented from being publicly expressed.

In 2014, India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan expressed his thoughts about Sex Ed, further leading to ban it and said instead of that yoga should be made compulsory in schools. According to him it was against the Indian values. His comments about these raised an uproar among opposers. Around the same time as Vardhan’s comments, the right wing group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti led an attack against teachers and schools that included threats of physical violence against teachers and schools that dared to carry out the 2007 health education program.

And after years of Sex Education being banned in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced an sexual education program in 2018. In this program students will be taught about sexual violence and health among other topics.

We need to make sure that parents and legal guardians are able to improve interpersonal interactions with adolescents and can help in creating spaces for dialogues that are free of stigma and bias. This might be the most sustainable way to improve outcomes in adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

The biggest barrier towards sexual education in India will probably be cultural norms against talking about sex. These norms are heavily ingrained in Indian society. However, India is making small but important steps to provide more comprehensive sex education.

-Emily Joy Oomen

‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a classical narration of thirty years of Afghan history.

“I will follow you to the ends of the world.”

Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

A gripping tale which can only fail to move the hardest of hearts. Khaled Hosseini, an all time best-selling author, with all of his published novels brings a heart wrenching story portraying female suffering and endurance under the Taliban rule.

The story is about a girl Maryam who is sent off to Kabul to marry Rasheed, only at the age of fifteen who befriends a local teen, Laila, a few years after her residence. And after the Taliban strikes rule, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can make people act in unexpected ways, leading them to overcome nerve wrecking circumstances with heroism. Hosseini strings every characters life with another in amusingly satisfying ways, the story teasing and testing your urge to turn the page throughout the way.

This books serves the purpose of throwing light on the difficulties afghan women and girls face since their childhood to their adulthood, enduring domestic violence and patriarchal issues. Khaled Hosseini pours all his feelings and emotions he had experienced during his childhood since Soviet army invaded Afghanistan by the1980’s. He uses his experiences and observations to portray a real image of Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. He successfully discussed on the issues like women rights through toxic patriarchy and domestic violence.

Hossieni’s story telling approach in this book will help you to get a closer view of these social issues as you lend your eyes and ears to the struggles of Afghan women and girls.

“Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer.”

-Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

A book so intense, swirling with emotions and struggles at every foot will hopefully serve immense satisfaction at the door of your heart. Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns will hold you at the brim of suspense throughout the story, warming your heart with his unique way of stringing the words.

Read A Thousand Splendid Suns, an irresistible creation which will leave your mind blown.

Books : escape to utopia

Reading to your rescue

Most of the times, on daily basis, we repeat the phrase “I’m bored,’ multiple times like some mantra. We all need a hobby or something to keep us occupied especially during the lockdown. Since the pandemic our activity has been bounded to electronics. Nearly everything is done through virtual means without a stop to it.

What could we do prevent ourselves from becoming a slave to our phone screens?

In difficult times like these, a little euphoric escape is it. Books.

Whenever we pick up our phones or laptop our first instinct is to either open Instagram or WhatsApp, the itching of checking our companions texts winning over. And that’s how the plan of spending few minutes on social media extends for hours without a break, with no work done whatsoever.

Why not do the same thing with books which can actually do some good for you?

Reading isn’t something that only certain people with talent can develop. Its a universal habit which even a kid adapt from a very young age, if desired.

Many people say that they just don’t get the time to read them or that they get bored easily. Its because they don’t put effort in finding the books that will suit their taste or they’re just too lazy to stop scrolling through their Instagram feed.

Sometimes people pick up reading only to refine their English speaking or writing skills, which is a good initiative since a lot of them don’t really pay heed to importance of knowing the primary language.

Books are often seen as a coping mechanism, an escape from this reality as we call it. The fiction world is mesmerizingly shocking, slowly becoming an addiction to most of us.

Personally I am a multi-genre reader, always looking forward to a new approach but it surely differs for every individual. Every person varies from another, falling into a particular category of genre that would surely spark their interest.

Reading books is not just a matter of pleasure but also for the sake of benefits beyond enjoyment. It soothes you and is effective, both mentally and physically, the benefits lasting for lifetime.

It is scientifically proven how reading effects your brain networks making it more stronger and sophisticated. It builds your vocabulary which will help you in college exams and further job opportunities. Reading is the best way to increase your exposure to new words.

 

What should you be reading?

Now that leaves us with one main last question. What should you read?

As earlier discussed everyone has their own preferences and a genre that offers them the rush and excitement. The first thing you need to do is discover what genre or storyline can make your chest bubble with excitement and without a single thought, get your hands on that book. Or if you need to go with something short and easy assessible then maybe blogs can fill that requirement for you.

The effects of reading are cumulative and that is why its never too late to start reading and take many psychological and physical benefits as possible.