I am in the midst of my annual ‘South Asia Yatra’ as I call it, travelling almost 20 cities in 4 countries. It is something that I look forward to very keenly as it gives me an opportunity to closely interact with over 100,000 students and get a firsthand understanding of the trends and patterns of the youth today. One common question that is asked by the press to me is ‘what are the changes you notice in children these days compared to when you started off?’ I take this opportunity to share my observations on this question.
– The Rise & Rise of girl power: Yes this is not a trend it is a phenomenon according to me. 12 years ago when I visited Hyderabad I found a big difference in the standard of girls and boys. The girls were far more smarter, intelligent, well spoken and overall better than boys in Hyderabad. I found that strange as in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai etc. you found the standard to be quite equal, not a stark difference. Over the last 10 years many things have changed in our society, but if I have to pick up one that stands out for me it is the fact that girls are far more smarter than boys these days. This trend I notice not only in Hyderabad but in cities across India, Pakistan, Nepal & Sri Lanka. This phenomenon will have great implications as we move forward. So if I were to put on a soothsayers hat I would comment ‘brace yourself for a world led by and ruled by women in a couple of decades to come’
– I need to necessarily follow this up with my assessment of boys these days. They are either becoming too feminine and soft or they are becoming too aggressive and violent. In the words of Naina my colleague ‘there are not normal boys these days, either they are sissies or they are mad-caps’
– If I have to pick up one area where there has been a remarkable improvement in our children it has to be their overall confidence. Every kid seems to be supremely confident of everything they do, but do they have the necessary depth to back up their confidence? Now that is a completely different story all together and in my opinion ‘NO’
– There are two kinds of kids who take part in competitions like Horlicks Wizkids; one kind who love to be there and the other kind who were told to go there by their parents. Infact I notice a very strong urge in parents to push children to do things which they never got an opportunity to do. This is irrespective of the fact that the child is interested in it or not. This phenomenon creates another challenge for event organisers like me – Every School Wants to Win in All Competitions!
Well these are some of the noticeable findings of mine as I am travelling across doing what I do best, providing the young talent in India to express themselves.