January 11, 2014

Being Cautious is Cool

Has the world become an unsafe place to raise your kids, or was it always this way? Or maybe we have grown up and reached the other side, from being the kids to now being responsible for kids. It is in the news every day, causing a nagging worry to grow somewhere at the back of your mind.

When I think back maybe it was always this way. As a mere kid entering adolescence, I was the target in the public buses and on streets in Bangalore. It was silly that I thought it was a part of life; never spoke about it much to anyone.  I wish I can go back and give them a piece of my mind.  If there was something like safecity.in back then, I would have sent a report every day. It is a lovely venture that was started a few days after the Delhi rape case. Hope we see some positive results from the website. 

If you think, it is just a matter of being in the wrong place and public buses were never a safe mode of transport.  We are now living in a really safe city and A goes to a very reputed public school. Early this school year, we got a letter from the principal that a teacher who was teaching at A’s school last year (and had now moved to another school) had been arrested for child pornography.  Really?  Was my daughter in the same building with a creep like that? There were many assurances sent and the fact that he actually didn’t teach her class made me forget about it in a few days. But it really did teach me a lesson, to teach her to be really cautious, even at school. (No more sentiments like Teachers are like Gods)

Recently I heard a horrific story about an Indian family who lost their two daughters (about 8 and 11) at a mall in Hong Kong.  They were on a vacation. They tried to look for them and reported it to the local police, who informed them these types of cases were pretty common around there and if they didn’t hear about the girls in two days, to forget about them and go home. Forget about them?!?! Is it just a bad dream to just forget about it and move on with your life happily! My heart goes out to the parents who stayed back there for three months hoping they would miraculously find their girls, but in vain. Imagine the misery they have to live with their whole lives, thinking about all kinds of possible situations their two precious daughters can be in.

I tried to look for such incidents online and read about these types of cases getting common in these Eastern countries.  There was a report of many children going missing after a visit to the Restroom. Apparently these kidnappers, drug the children, shave their head and put on a cap and different clothing and disguise them in such a way that the parents waiting outside cannot recognize the kids. They then use them as beggars or to bring money in some way.

Being a little extra cautious does not hurt these days for sure. At the most it will stir up your children a little bit and they will exclaim to you that they are old enough and that you are being over protective and silly! But all for good they will realize in the years to come, like we all did.

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