Every third child in India is bullied, says a report by research agency IMRB and ParentCircle. This is alarming as with rising instances of bullying, depression and suicide rates have also gone up. While newspapers everyday are marred with such stories, we don’t see any sustained efforts towards addressing this.
It has been observed that children, mostly who are either physically unfit or are less socially active are targeted by bullies. Here, it becomes imperative for the parents to support their children by educating them about life and its aspects that are more important than superficial things like looks and appearance.In several cases, children are known to hide bullying instances from their parents as they are advised not to bring complaints home which creates a disconnect between the child and his parents.This disconnect has germinated from the mushrooming concept of nuclear families where the parents are working and are not able to pay proper attention towards their ward.Interestingly, neurologists cite that growing up in a joint family helps a child learn to adjust in different circumstances and with different kinds of people.Also, the easy access to internet have made them more vulnerable. A United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report says that of the 40 crore internet users in India, nearly 2.88 crore are school going children and the number will more than double by 2020.Cyber bullying has raised it’s head and our children are falling prey to it. Another study showed that about 15 per cent of those bullied online complained, whereas 10.41 per cent faced humiliation through pictures/videos that were uploaded on the Internet.
About 35 per cent children in India have had their accounts hacked while 15.74 per cent shared they had received inappropriate messages.“Bullying Ab Bandh” is a conscious effort to bring about a change. This initiative is to bring children, parents and schools on a common platform and engage in healthy discussions about bullying and its various aspects. Several reports mention that bullies are themselves victims of bullying either at school or at home. Disturbance at home also plays a key role in that.I, myself, have been a victim of bullying at school and when I recently saw my son going through the same, I felt things should be taken to task now and hence I, at Image Global Consulting, have been conducting workshops on bullying for kids. Recently, I counselled children aged between 8-14 yrs for JCI at Mahaveer Jain college.