Children's Day 2021: From floods to Diwali to COVID, here's why Nov 14 will see virtual fanfare once again 

Children's Day is celebrated every year on November 14, which marks the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
Image for representation | Pic: Edexlive
Image for representation | Pic: Edexlive

Kriti Sharma is looking forward to Children's Day celebrations this year. With schools having reopened after almost one and a half years, she can finally celebrate with her classmates and teachers at Podar International School in Powai, Maharashtra. Kriti is among lakhs of students across the country who hope to celebrate Children's Day in person. But unfortunately, for many that may not be possible. And no, this is not because the day (November 14) falls on a Sunday.

For Kriti, however, Children's Day, whenever it is celebrated, will bring back memories of the days past. "We are looking forward to the pop-up festival that has been planned. There are also plans to have a dance party. We are also expecting that the teachers will perform in the talent show to entertain us," says the Class 10 student. Her school has decided to celebrate the day at school, physically. "Even if we'll be able to savour Children's Day again, it will have to be done while staying socially distanced with masks on," she rues.

But Kriti happens to be among the lucky ones as schools in Mumbai are closed on account of an extended Diwali break and will open only on November 22. And celebrating Children's Day physically remains a distant dream for many, not just in Mumbai. 

At Chennai's NSN Matriculation Higher Secondary School, students have had to celebrate Children's Day virtually owing to the incessant rains and flooding in the city. "Before the pandemic, Children's Day meant a day without uniform. The day was spent with friends and even the teachers entertained us with various activities. This year, we had to celebrate online and while teachers did their best to impart joy, we definitely missed celebrating like the old days," says Arvin Arjun, a student of Class 12. This Children's Day is extremely bittersweet for Arvin since it's his last one at school.

NSN, however, brought their A-game to the virtual celebrations and besides the usual dance parties and talent shows, the teachers created a special flipbook with messages to each and every student. "The time and effort taken by our teachers to make us feel special felt great," said K Kavya, another student. "Even though celebrating the day virtually was fun, we missed the physical celebrations. I really hope this is the last time we have such lowkey celebrations," said Vaishali S, a Class 11 student of the school.

Virtual celebrations were the norm for many schools in Delhi too. At Modern Public School, the celebrations went beyond music and dance. "This Children's Day was dedicated to showing kindness. We collected gifts, which were then distributed to the underprivileged kids," said Rashi Raja, a Class 3 student at the school. Students made, what they called, a 'joy box' that was loaded with gifts and stationery for the underprivileged. The school had to celebrate virtually even though all classes have resumed. The principal says it's because of pre-board exams that are being conducted currently.

But whether it's COVID, Diwali vacations, or the rains, the children are looking forward to anything to break the monotony of eighteen months of online classes. And for most, the hope is that they'll be able to celebrate the day with their friends next year. 

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