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Father's day Image Credit: Getty Images

Children needs father’s love just as much as a mother’s

A father's involvement in the upbringing of children and contribution to the family is not appreciated always (“Dubai dads step up to inspire family and community on Father’s Day”, Gulf News, June 20) . Fatherhood is an amazing thing. It is exciting to see your children growing up, learning things, achieving and developing into their personality. Those fathers who relinquish or abdicate their responsibilities create multiple problems not just within their households but also in society at large. Children abandoned by their fathers develop a sense of powerlessness and abandonment. The absence of a father in a family unit can result in a prevalence of deviant or anti-social behaviour, including at worst, school drop-out, rebellion against adult authority, high-risk behaviours such as drug and alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, loneliness and low self-esteem. Fathers provide moral guidance to children, reinforce conduct, foster the values of respect, honesty and hard work.

From Mr Handsen Chikowore

London, United Kingdom

Zimbabwean fathers could not honour Fathers' day

The misery and poverty in Zimbabwe has stripped most fathers economically naked and their roles as breadwinners in most households (“Coronavirus impact: Dubai dads seek help ahead of Father’s Day”, Gulf News, June 20). As the world celebrates Father's day, in Zimbabwe there are no reasons to celebrate as most of the fathers are failing to discharge their roles of providing for the families effectively. Some have escaped the chains of Zimbabwean high unemployment by crossing rivers infested with crocodiles to other neighbouring countries like Zambia, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in search of better prospects of employment. Fathers in Zimbabwe are still leaving the country in search of better economic condition to countries like the UK, USA and Canada.

From Mr Tapiwa Muskwe

Stockwell, United Kingdom

Bollywood’s Sushant Singh Rajput: Brilliant actor, gone too soon

The suicide and untimely death of Bollywood movie star Sushant Singh Rajput is indeed tragic incident(“ Sushant Singh Rajput’s ashes immersed in Ganga”, Gulf News, June 18). He was a youngster, on the top of his art, with successful films behind him and a bright career ahead. He was undoubtedly a brilliant actor. His portrayal of the former Indian cricket captain, M.S. Dhoni in the film of the same name, was stunning and realistic. The movie became a cult film in India for fans of M.S. Dhoni and cricket lovers.

Sushant was much more than a movie star. He was an engineer by profession and intensely interested in astronomy and physics. There is widespread speculation as to why he was so depressed that he took his own life. Some Bollywood stars have blamed the existence of groups in the film industry, which discourage rank outsiders like Sushant. However, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan also came into the industry from the cold, without any family background in movies and have come to rule Bollywood.

In every field of human endeavour, be it movies, management, sports or even politics, there are always those who will try to discourage successful people. Negative persons and elements have to be ignored. Perhaps the best advice has come from actor Manoj Bajpayee, who said in a television condolence interview, "If I knock on a door and it does not open, I keep knocking, till it opens or it breaks down. If life screams at me, then, I just scream right back at life.”

Sushant will be remembered fondly for his acting skills, affable personality and modesty. Sadly, he went so soon, and tragically. He will always be remembered as the actor, who brought Dhoni’s persona to every home through his fantastic film, “M.S. Dhoni, The Untold Story.”

From Mr Rajendra Aneja

Mumbai, India

Resilience and real connections

The death of a young and dynamic Bollywood actor has once again brought to light the importance of inculcating important life skills to children from a young age (“Sushant Singh suicide: Abhishek Kapoor compares death to 'losing a child’”, Gulf News, June 20). As an educator, I have always believed that a strong home and school partnership ensures that children grow up to be emotionally secure, which lays the foundation for their bright future. While we talk about imparting 21st-century skills to our youth, what the world and we adults need to focus on is building resilience and ensuring that there is real communication and sensitivity to the needs of all we know and care for.

So what is it that drives young adults and sometimes even children to take such drastic steps? Did we as educators and parents fail to teach them that winning and failing are both situations they will face at one point or the other in their journey of life? I believe both parents and educators must model and talk about resilience, standing up again if you fall and it’s perfectly okay to fail, and you compete with yourself not others! Success is comparative and transitory but life is precious!

This also brings to mind another disturbing thought. We pride ourselves as being a generation that is so well connected, with thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In stark contrast to that is the fact, that these same socially well-connected youth, many a time has no one they can reach out to! Not a friend, colleague or family member with whom they can share their thoughts, who can console them, be there for them emotionally. That is something which saddens me. Have we ignored the thought of really caring? Or do we not know how to look out for those signs, of noticing those subtle changes in behaviour and body language that tell something is not right? Of simply asking, are you okay and mean it? Of following up to check the next day?

The world has changed. COVID-19 has undoubtedly shown the world that we cannot take anything for granted! Social distancing is the new normal and is here to stay. But friends, this is physical distancing, what about our emotional connections? Numerous good morning messages reach us on Whatsapp, forwards, which many of us do not read and keep forwarding.

As the world talks about IQ, EQ and many more, I have a simple take. Humans are the most intelligent social creatures, which means we have emotions and the intellect to read signs of distress. Not everyone will themselves recognise signs of depression and reach out for help voluntarily, but can we develop in our youth the importance to open up and share? Good and bad, happy and sad? Be it a friend or a family member. Can we raise every child to know their responsibility to look out for signs of distress, emptiness and unhappiness, look beyond the fake smile and reach out to the person who is silently crying out for help, have an ear to listen, and a heart to be sensitive. Remind them of the old saying, “Shared joy is double joy, shared sorrow is half a sorrow”.

For that is what sets human beings distinct from all other creations of God. We are sensitive and have emotions. As adults, it is our duty that along with spreading messages of environmental awareness, we also speak about emotional resilience and real emotional connections. As parents, we need to keep reassuring our children, that we are there for them whatever the situation, as teachers we need to reassure students it’s okay to fail and we are there to show them the path to success next time. That success has a unique definition for each individual.

Let’s together build a generation of resilient, emotionally connected young adults.

From Dr Anjuli Murthy


Raise awareness about refugee crises around the world

On June 20, we observe World Refugee Day, and according to reports around 60 million people are forcibly displaced in the world as refugees, migrant or asylum seekers (“See their plight as 'World Refugee Day' is observed across the globe during COVID-19 pandemic”, Gulf News, June 20). Now during this coronavirus pandemic, we see millions of migrant workers in India walking kilometres in the hot sun to reach their destination without food or water and a lot of them lost their lives. Personal fight for survival and security, wars and invasion force people to leave their home country.

People are not only displaced internally but also externally and the most affected are women and children. We are forced to remember Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old child who was washed ashore in Turkey after being displaced and fleeing from war-torn Syria. Seeking asylum is one’s right and at present, we see hundreds of children are born in a refugee camp. They are deprived of basic human rights at all times.

We should work for a peaceful planet where no one has to forcefully leave his or her home due to war. Let us pledge our support and solidarity towards the refugees who are displaced from their homeland.

From Mr Eappen Elias


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