This Children’s Day, parents have been urged to disconnect from their mobile phones, television and computers and connect with their children for an hour. The suggestion has been mooted by ParentCircle, an organisation that aims to bring back to parents and children, the joy of being together without the interference of electronic gadgets.
Nalina Ramalakshmi, founder and managing director of ParentCircle, told media on Wednesday that the aim of the social initiative was to raise awareness about the need to stay away from gadgets and to spend time with children. ParentCircle had chosen 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm for the purpose. “If parents are busy at that time, they could choose another convenient hour,” she said.
With parents remaining busy through the day, they hardly have time to talk to their children. The latter too have a packed day with tuitions and coaching classes for sports. “Eighty percent of parenting is about connection. But parents are at work during the day and after work, they must take care of household chores. They don’t have time to connect,” said Ms. Nalina, who set up ParentCircle eight years ago “to exchange ideas, to share information.”
She was instrumental in the school education department sending out circulars to all 58,000 State-run schools exhorting students and parents to carry forward the message. CBSE schools in the southern region, including those in neighbouring states, has also agreed to participate in the event, she said.
Several companies have pledged their support. Over 25 restaurants have agreed to provide patrons an option to stay away from their gadgets. Some of them have decided to place a box on the table that the family shares, to place their gadgets in.
ParentsCircle.com will have a live page during the day but it will be shut for the designated hour. People who want to pledge their support may give a missed call to 7230019118, Ms. Nalina said.
A.V. Dharmakrishnan, chief executive officer, Ramco Cements, said the #GadgetFreeHour was needed. He recalled the recent tragic death of a child who drowned in a tank while the mother was busy watching on television the attempted rescue of a child who had fallen into a borewell.