Published: 13th November 2020
Children's Day 2020: How the pandemic has taken November 14 away from kids — and how they're coping
With schools closed for almost a year, most of these kids haven't seen their friends and teachers for a long time. So how does it feel to celebrate Children's Day amid a pandemic?
Growing up, Children's Day would always be one of those special days in schools — from food packets, to classes for only half a day, to those endless hours of fun with classmates. Alas! this won't be the case this year. Children's Day is celebrated every year on the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru. His fondness and love for children is a well-known fact. "Children are like buds in a garden and should be carefully and lovingly nurtured, as they are the future of the nation and the citizens of tomorrow," Nehru would say. However, he would perhaps never have imagined how much education has changed this year when schools have been shut over the last eight months. Indeed, this is a very distinct Children's Day, one that will probably remain etched in the young minds.
So how different will Children's Day be this year? For one, it coincides with Diwali. So kids actually going to school on that day is ruled out. But they probably would've had celebrated it with their friends a couple of days ahead. This year all they get is a virtual meet and greet. Shivani R, an 11th standard student from Geethaanjali All India Senior Secondary School, Erode, says, "Children's Day usually meant loads of activities and handmade gifts from the teachers. Though we would be celebrating the day virtually, it's not the same."
Children's Day will also be celebrated online this year | Pic: PTI
Echoing a similar sentiment, B Shreya, a student of NSN School, Chennai, says, "We'd be welcomed, entertained and cared for by teachers at school on Children's Day. We also had a talent show at school. The teachers would also perform for us. Children’s Day would not be the same this year and I will miss the interaction with my friends and teachers."
Kolkata student Debarpan Ghosh, also says he's missing some of the best times he remembers at school. "Children's Day is pure fun. We'd play games, teachers would entertain us and even give speeches. All that won't happen this year. I haven't physically met my friends and teachers for almost a year now. Missing Children's Day is just an addition to this never-ending school closure," adds Debarpan, who is a student of Hariyana Vidya Mandir.
Cultural progammes and competitions marked Children's Day every year | Pic: PTI
However, some students are also of the opinion that while they can't go to school and enjoy the day, their teachers are leaving no stones unturned to make the day special for them online. "The best thing about Children's Day is that we are allowed to wear casual clothes and are given so many candies to eat. Not only are there no classes, but the school management would have organised some competitions with prizes to win. But while we can't physically participate this year, it doesn't discount the fact the school management is trying their best to conduct the event online," says Velammal School student Ashwin T.
Expressing a similar view, Y Shree, a student of St Ann's School in Chirala, Andhra Pradesh, says, "With schools closed, teachers are encouraging students to take part in online celebrations with activities like speeches, essay writing, poem recital, singing competition and plays. Though the students will miss meeting their friends and teachers in person, most of us looking forward to the online celebration."