Friday, October 30, 2009

Grandmas help girl child live longer

A study conducted by Cambridge University have come out with findings that granddaughters lived longer when their paternal grandmother lived with them or within close vicinity. This was in start contrast to the effect of the presence of paternal grandmother on the grandson - the effect was supposed to be harmful to the grandson as her presence was linked with an increase in mortality. This study conducted across seven populations across the world, looked at infant mortality in the first three years of life

Well, I do not know how it is in these populations (some ancient and some modern but not Indian) where the study was conducted but in various places in India I am sure it would be the other way round. Here where people believe in male progeny to be the means to their Moksha, grandsons who live in close association with their paternal grandmother will be more favored. Infact I guess they will thrive.

In many a case, we have heard of a girl child being neglected and treated badly. God forbid if a girl child is born first. Her sorrows begin right then. Sometimes her sorrow ends even before she is born when she is killed as soon as it comes to be known it is a girl child.

Do you think this study would throw up an entirely different result if it is conducted in India?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Using technology for inclusive education

Technology when applied rightly can benefit our country in an amazingly positive way and have far reaching benefits for the society.

This is what I felt when I read that the Government of Karnataka is planning to start CET coaching for rural students absolutely free of cost. Studios will be set up from where the lessons will be telecast to the training centers and the study materials will be provided free of cost. It says that 13,000 Intermediate students in the rural area are going to benefit from this initiative. These children can then dream of pursuing professional courses of their choice such as BDS, BE, MBBS and so on.

Satellite-based coaching!! Imagine if it works well and is managed efficiently, it will open doors to so many aspiring children of our country who so far would have only dreamt of making it big but did not have the means to achieve it. Education will then become inclusive and doors of opportunity will open for all.

Virtual classrooms and Video streaming technology - what we thought was seen only in sci-fi movies are slowly becoming a reality. It is entering our classrooms too. I feel our children are living in an exciting world where they are going to enjoy learning in such an advanced and interesting way.

Are they ready yet?

My thirteen year old son came and asked me and my husband if he could go for an evening out with his friends to a gaming center. As no adults were accompanying and it was only a group of friends going, we naturally refused to let him go. He was offended big time and he made it a point to let us know how disappointed he was quite forcefully.

Generally till now we have taken them to lots of their friends' place as well as had his friends over at our place where we personally knew the parents. We have let them go out when one or the other parents have accompanied the group of children to an outing and they have had sleepovers at their friends' place. But so far we have never let them go out in a group alone without any adult supervision. Believe me, even at this age they are still a handful and do crazy things when they go out in groups.

Somehow children at this age have neither grown old enough to understand nor are they little that we can hold onto them. At one end children of that age feel quite grown up and act so very mature but the very next moment they bely their age by doing something very foolish. This is but common at this age.

As we have all passed through this phase of adolescence we do understand what they must be going through . I remember the time when my father used to refuse to send us on school trips if it was for a longer duration. Day trips however were fine with him. But we also used to be offended then and thought our parents did not understand us. Now I guess it is our turn to go through this cycle with our children.

However in the current scenario where children are growing up faster and getting exposed to so many facets of life at a very young age as parents I feel it is but natural to protect our children as far as possible. At the same time one wonders if it is overprotection. Where does the balance lie?Are they ready yet to fly out on their own??

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Womb Transplant!!

Science is making amazing progress in so many aspects. The recent that I read was about womb transplant... I was curious to know what it was all about and went through some materials written about this.

Simply put womb transplant is done when a woman cannot conceive due to various reasons. The womb transplant can be done so that the woman can conceive and carry the child in her transplanted womb rather than go in for surrogate womb or for adoption. The womb is removed once the pregnancy is over.

Yes every woman dreams of having a baby of her own. Right from times immemorial women have been specially created by the universal creator to go through this wonderful experience of succoring a new life within her. But somehow recent statistics show a rise in infertility in both men and women due to various reasons.

In this scenario, lots of fertility clinics are doing brisk business by trying to help a husband and wife fulfill their dream of having a baby of their own. I have come across so many cases where a woman undergoes so much of pain both physically and psychologically not to mention the monetary aspect of it hoping against hope that one day her dream will be realised. In lieu of this womb transplant will be another procedure that a woman will let herself undergo.

Several comments were posted on this topic. Naturally women who were having difficulty in conceiving felt this was a great ray of hope for them. While some felt that we are overburdening the already overpopulated world, some others felt that where there was a chance of adoption there would now be one less child having the opportunity of growing in a good family setup.

Whatever be the rational merits and demerits of the scientific discoveries especially in life sciences, one must not ignore that there is always a social facet that one must keep in mind. Womb transplant is one such issue - it's not just about the science of it but attached with a deeper emotion.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where have these games gone?

Vacations and any spare time for children today means watching T.V, playing computer games, PSP and other audiovisual indoor onscreen games only for our children. I remember how different it was during our times. With no T.V or other present day gadgets our vacations were filled with lots of outdoor and indoor games.

Remember Hopscotch with eight houses were we had to throw a stone and hop? Lagori was another game were we had to pile up the stones, then hit them and run while the opposing team tried to catch us. Dog and the Bone, In the pond and on the bank, Hiding an object (when the person goes close to it saying it is a hot spot and when the person is far away then the place being called cold zone.) - there were so many that used to keep us busy and engrossed for hours on end.

I remember the game that became a craze during our time was something called Goldspot. I now wonder why it was named so. This game was played with all the players holding hands and going in circle chanting goldspot, and soon after we had to jump as far as possible from the persons on the other side. Then each one had to try and step on the person next to them by jumping forward while that person tries to avoid being stepped on by jumping backwards.

The other game was elastic. Two people would place this big elastic round their legs and the third person had to jump and do various acrobatics. After each successful level the elastic would be placed higher and higher. Then there was of course all time favourites like hide and seek, run and catch, blind man's buff, four houses and so on and so forth.

The list of indoor games were endless. Snake and Ladder, Ludo, Chinese Checkers, Brain vita, Tick Tack Toe, Name, place, animal and things, Card games, Carom to name a few. There were the traditional games of twelve houses where we had to play with shells. Then there were these four round seeds with which you play by flipping it on the palm and then throwing it up and catching the others one by one and so on. Another game was played using elongated shells.

These games did not cost anything and the only thing one needed were friends, a few household articles and a little space. But sadly somewhere down the line we have lost them. They have become obsolete and I feel sad about it. Traditional games have among others fallen prey in this era of technology. Have these games been lost forever?