Media Training helps children to look at society differently: Sharmila Tagore
Aruna Chatterjee, Class XII
Talking exclusively to child reporters of The Yamuna, the Gandhi Smriti’s children newspaper, Ms. Tagore reiterated the fact that child reporters can perform a very affirmative role in the society. She said, “The best part of being a child reporter is that people tend to be less threatened from them (children) rather than the conventional media. “People welcome them and freely express their views on different issues affection the lives of the people,” she added.
Terming child reporters as spokespersons of social issues, the Chairperson of the Censor Board exhorted, “The children can become the voice of common people and even of other children. They can actually become a powerful force who can influence the policy-makers.”
She said children were in a position to raise their problems and place their demands in front of the society. For this they need to assert themselves and try to ensure that their views are given proper attention.
Ms Tagore who released the State of the World Children’s Report 2007 brought out by the UNICEF, said, “48 per cent of our population is under 20 years of age and they are our asset.” She felt that India could progress only when ‘a substantial progress is made towards the development of the child in every sphere’.
Ms. Sharmila Tagore further asserted that though the Constitution provides rights for children, it is important to see that children understand them and uses them to their benefit. “We adults also have an important role towards furthering the rights of the child,” she said.
When asked if training children in media education was needed, Ms Tagore said, ”Being child reporters opens gateways for children for their multifaceted personality development. It equips them with the wherewithal to look at society and its concerns with a completely different perspective. Media training can also help children to effectively voice their concern. Overall it can be productive for the society as a whole and also in the integrated development of children into responsible citizens.”
Ms Sharmila Tagore also emphasized on providing basic moral education to children for their overall development. She said, “If children are taught about their moral and traditional values, they would surely become responsible and sensible citizens”.
She stressed that any media training for children should have a strong component of values and tradition in it. Then only such children can make effective contribution to the society, she added. “Children must respect their elders. But at the same time it is the duty of the elders not to be ‘dismissive’ of children’s opinion,” she asserted.
With inputs from