Ask any parent, what is their biggest worry these days. It is to ensure that their kids don’t end up being digital addicts who spend their day transfixed to the screens of their phones, tablets and ipads watching cartoons and playing games.
In one of the most alarming trends of parenting, kids as young as one-year-old are getting addicted to screens oblivious to the sunshine and outdoor games with only blue light of gadgets giving them company.
This was the exact scary thought that had prompted Ekta Ohri, a Gurugram-based architect and a mother of five-year-old boy, to give up her lucrative job and start working on children’s books and other activity materials, which will take them away from the screens.
Ekta, who is a resident of Parsvnath Exotica on Golf Course Extension Road, has recently authored and published her second children’s book – City of Stars – which is a collection of short stories for children on pollution. She is also the founder of LitJoys - an early learning venture.
Ekta Ohri recently published her second book, City of Stars.
Ekta said that her conversation with her son and his changing habits were the true inspiration behind the book. “I was first inspired to take up writing work seriously even before I had become a mother. This happened when I had a guest at home and their son was glued to TV. I thought that children need to be positively involved in different activities if we wish to bring them up as responsible human beings,” she said.
“There is a term called Toxic Childhood which talks about four wrongs that the kids these days are exposed to – addiction to gadgets, use of plastic toys, eating junk food and lack of parental involvement in their daily activities. I think all parents need to take it seriously. We have to tackle all these four points if we want to make things right,” said a worried Ekta.
“Parents are so busy these days with their work schedule and other commitments that they themselves allow children to play with mobile phones and tablets. This is such a wrong practice,” said Ekta.
The main character of her book, Abdu, is inspired by her son who is inquisitive about pollution and other environment related topics. “He would often ask me questions about noise pollution and how we can reduce it and that is when I thought of writing it down and presenting it in a format that children can enjoy and relate to,” said the 40-year-old.
She has also been holding workshops and story-telling sessions for children to make them understand about our many activities by which we are knowingly and unknowingly harming the environment and how we can stop it. “I have realized that if we are able to change the mindset of children, then parents also start following. It is ironic but it is true,” said Ekta.
All these wrong habits in children are leading to behavioral changes in them that will lead to several societal problems in the coming years, thinks Ekta. “If we wish to change the society, we need to change ourselves and most importantly ensure that this change is finding its way into our children’s lives.”
“It’s high time that we stopped blaming authorities and government for everything that is wrong with our city and environment and start owning up to our own mistakes. Let’s remember, every change matters,” concludes an optimistic mom.