karmachoden

Spontaneous expression of thoughts and emotions in words.

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

Can you hear the silent screams of our students who contemplate suicide?

  “A 15-yr old student in Sibsoo committed suicide by hanging himself early this morning. That’s the 11th suicide case in last 10 months,” tweeted @BHT-FLASHNEWS on Tuesday, September 10 – World Suicide Prevention Day 2013.

 There is no graver news than that of a child killing himself on the very day chosen to advocate on suicide prevention. I then posted a status on my Facebook wall “This is the grim realities of the world where a day is being marked as International Suicide Prevention Day and we see one coming…Today is the day to create awareness on depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, and all other emotional problems that lead to the execution of the so called suicide we have been hearing every single day. Isn’t it time that we come together and act against this very disease that is engulfing our society?”

Over a casual discussion with a colleague I was told that a Class VIII boy hanged himself from an apple tree in the very orchard that he grew up playing. The reason for the suicide; he had failed miserably in his mid-term examination and was too scared to face his dad. He had shared the result with his mother who only told him that the father will deal with it. That made him even more nervous. Before he committed suicide he had actually called his dad who was then at the archery ground. The boy had told of his result and the response he got from his dad was, “you wait there! We will deal when I reach home.” That was the last conversation the dad had with his son.

If only the parents were a bit more sensitive and attended to his fears appropriately, this would not have resulted. Many suicides and suicidal behaviours could be prevented if we just give a little extra care, support and protection that our children look forward to.

The principal of a school tells me that there is a boy who doesn’t want to study. But he is forced to stay because the father had warned him that he would be removed out of the census and sent out of the house if he doesn’t stick to the school. The boy is believed to have told the principal that he is fed up of his dad’s constant nagging and belittling him and even confessed to resorting to suicide attempts several times.

Just two months back a Class XII student hanged himself in his lone rented room. He was known to be lively, always laughing and joking around with his friends. Principal and teachers say he never showed any sign of depressions or any other problems. He was even playing music the day before he committed suicide. Later it was discovered that he was in love with a girl to whom he could not confess his feelings. Her name was found written on the wall of his room.

There are many instances where our children today go through fears, peer pressure, stress from studies, relationship issues, and lack of attention from parents and teachers in the schools, that lead to emotional instability and lack of self esteem in themselves. Needs and feelings of the children are ignored. Most youth suffer from the symptom of lack of attention and love at home. Many of the emotional problems that our youth go through are manifested in different ways. Some resort to abusing drugs, some indulge in gangs and fights, some turn into loners. Some girls suffer through teenage pregnancy and unhealthy abortions at the border; and there are some who resort to suicide.

 

So where are we going wrong? Is it in parenting and upbringing? Is it the school system? Is it the outcome of modern day life styles? And there may be countless questions that every individual needs to ask oneself. As a parent, are we doing enough in terms of upbringing and helping our children in the growing up process? Are we trying to figure out the needs and fears of our children? Do we hold our children’s hands and let them know that they are not alone fighting the lone battle in this modern day? Do we tell our kids often that we love them? Do we tell them that their fears and tears are ours too? Are all the children getting the love, care, support and attention at home?

Do we expect to bring up our children the way we were brought up some three to four decades ago? The times have changed, the social settings have changed and are ever changing and so are the needs of the children. It’s then imperative that the parents change with the changing pace of time and change their ways of dealing and handling children. And so goes with the school system. At a time when we are talking of preventing our children from getting into many social problems thus leading to issues like suicide, our school system should put in place ways and means to provide emotional security in our children.

It is believed that schools are the second homes and teachers are the second parents. Many a times schools may trigger off the problems unintentionally. Children may come to schools with lots of emotional baggage at the verge of bursting off. It is important that schools have the system of knowing every child, their strengths, weakness, fears, needs, and accordingly provide services that deal with each areas of concern.

Times have gone where we discipline our children with threat and thrashing. It is no longer a world where sting nettle could be applied to better classroom management. Proactive programmes need to be put in place and instituted in the school system to understand the needs of the children and help them become better human beings. At the end of the day we should know that every single life is precious and it is the duty of parents and schools to help our children appreciate their lives better rather than enabling them to resort to suicide.

 

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The Juggler

This is the story of Women’s Day.

Being one of the organisers of the event on March 8, I travelled all the way to Trashigang in my Blackie to arrange things in advance. Blackie is my little black car that carried me 1,324 kilometers to Trashigang and back without a single hitch. On the morning of the Big Day, I got up early and congratulated myself for being a brave lady driving all alone through day and night and making it for the day.

The theme for the International Women’s Day 2011 was “Equal Access to education and training: Pathway to decent work for women.” That day made me contemplate deeply. If we are talking of equality and access the we must also take responsibility and accountability. And I was telling myself that’s exactly what I was doing. Taking responsibility and accountability for the opportunity given to me to serve in equal terms in a male dominated work place.

Multitasking by nature, I have always juggled home and work, kids and their studies, their extracurricular class and one to one time with them either at home or outdoors. Prior to my departure to Trashigang, I was sharing with a friend how stressed I was always moving about between work and home. The moment I am home, I am faced with piled dishes in the kitchen sink rather than a warm cup of tea. And there is no time to waste. I put my rice cooker on. Prepare the recipe for the curry for the kids’ school luncheon, all the while also mentally preparing for their breakfast menu.

As soon as the stuffs are put on the oven, I take to my dishes at the same time ensuring that at certain intervals I go and check the kids’ study schedule. I am glad at least my kids are well trained to their home rules. But my son would come after every five minutes with some excuses. Sometimes he would want to use the washroom, sometimes he would say he is hungry and sometimes he would simply come to find out when he will get his break time when he had not even finished spending 10 minutes with books.

By the time I finish my dishes, I also get done with with my cooking and kids would have finished their home works and revision but at the same time I also end up with a back breaking pain.

And work place is no different. Everyday you get your share of work which you can’t put away to another day. Besides your regular share of work you also get to tend to some ad hoc work that your boss place on you and there is no way you can deny.

And you know what my friend said before I left for Trashigang, ” Here is a woman who is so stressed out and it’s so ironic that she is going to Trashigang to celebrate the International Women’s Day.”

(Note: This article was written in 2011. So much have changed from 2006 to 2011 and now 2013, but I am still a multitasking person. When it comes to my two children I guess I shall always remain a multitasker. Atleast these days I have my hubby staying with us and he is a big help. We share the work load at home and I usually don’t end up with that back breaking pain. I am so grateful for his presence at home and his contribution in making our lives a lot easier. And off course unlike in 2006, we dont’ have a maid and I see no reason to keep one too.)

The Life and Times of a working Mother

Life as a working mother isn’t as easy as women make it seem. It’s even tougher if you’re a teacher. I would say that balancing home and work-place is a Herculean labour of love and round-the-clock duty. Here’s how I try to manage both family and employment.

Morning rush hours are punctuated by my shrill cries ringing around the whole house, “Osel and Yonten! Get into the bathroom, right now, ” and “Osel and Yonten! Get dressed fast, eat your breakfast, drink your milk,” and so on it goes.

Kids don’t make things easier for you. They will get into the bathroom and fight and then waste precious minutes crying instead of washing up. I tell myself, “I have to make it to work before the clock strikes 8.” But I’ ve also to make sure before that the kids get their breakfast and they’re all present and accounted for at class. In the process, I land up going to office on an empty stomach and make do with hot water until the lunch break.

Evening comes and the kids are all over Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Pogo. Cajoling them away from the television, and getting them to read and do their home work is not an easy task, especially when you’re exhausted from work. However, it really helps if you follow certain ground rules and routines set for them.

Added to all this is the stack of papers and note-books I bring home. Sometimes I have to take them back without even looking at them! People say, leave office work at the office. But for a teacher, that’s easier said than done. If we put off just one correction, they keep on piling up and then become even more impossible.

As if that was not enough- you come home tired, expecting a hot cup of tea to soothe your aching limbs, but once you’re home, you have to rush into the kitchen to make sure the maid’s kept everything neat and clean. You need to check if the rooms have been swept and the beds made. That the kid’s clothes are washed and their shoes polished. It may sound like a small fry to some ears, but to a mother these are real nitty-gritty of daily life.

The situation becomes worse if you have to go out for some work and come home late. Once I attended a meeting which took us through dinner and by the time i came back it was quite late. When I reached home, I found the place in an unholy mess. It was a real pell-mell situation. The bed was soaked in juices and the pillows were wet. Toys were strewn around every which way and, what’s worse the kids had scratched each other.

At bed time, no matter how tired I am, I have to read them a story; without which the kids will refuse to shut their eyes. Sometimes I am not able to do so and they get real sore at me.

At times, I get so stressed out that I even have to read up ‘The Guide for a Smart Working Mum‘ and ‘How to Tackle your Kids and Work’  and ‘Reduce your Stress Levels.’ Stuff like that.

This routines continues through the week. Which is why Sunday’s my fun day: the only time I get to sleep to my heart’s content. I ‘d like as well to pamper myself with my hobbies but then I ‘ll miss the Sunday market.

 

(Note: This article was written in 2006 at a time when my hubby was placed at a different work station, my kids were little and I was really struggling between work and them)

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