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Pictures Online? Exercise Caution #AtoZChallenge

Pictures Online? Exercise Caution #AtoZChallenge

More than a year back, child rights activists in Chennai came across and demanded to shut down two Facebook pages that were in Tamil. The pages were created to attract pedophiles with photographs of young girls with comments full of sexual connotation.

Social media giant Facebook has a policy that does not allow nude pictures, but these pages used pictures of children in full clothes. There was nothing sleazy or objectionable about the images – the photos were the kind you and I would post of our children. So technically it doesn’t fall under the obscenity category and hence the website’s algorithm was probably unable to decipher. Also, Facebook was unable to pick up on these pages because both the page and the comments were largely in Tamil and it is difficult to identify regional language words.

Online predators lift pictures from innocent posts uploaded by young children or their parents. Similar pages surfaced in Kerala too. After several complaints, the pages were pulled down. There were pictures of children from the age of 5 to 15 with sexually explicit comments. The cyber police had forwarded the complaint to Facebook and the page was taken down.

In today’s world of Social Media interactions, how much should parents share and how much should they refrain? Most parents embrace social networks as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends scattered across the globe, uploading pictures of their young children. While we shouldn’t let paranoia take over our lives, we have to be very careful when doing so. Bear in mind:

  • Know how much to share. Never give away exact locations, school names and other such details.
  • Understand the importance of not tagging locations
  • Refrain from posting updates and pictures on a daily basis. It could entice someone within your circle.
  • Use stricter privacy settings

With the perversion and pedophilic individuals all across the web, great caution should be exercised.

Image Source: Pixabay
Jaago Re- It is Time to Pre-act not React with Tata Tea

Jaago Re- It is Time to Pre-act not React with Tata Tea

As I sat casually switching channels, sipping warm tea on a lazy Saturday afternoon,  the television flashed one of the most compelling and hard-hitting advertisements of recent times. Tata Tea is back again with its trademark “Jaago Re” campaign. And this time around the brand has brought into forefront what is essentially known as pre-activism, urging consumers to pre-act and not react to prevent social crises.

Pre-Activism- Isn’t it the need of the day?

If this term had to be laid out in a simple form, it is nothing but a sort of awakening, to learn and finally find an answer to underlying problems……well before one strike. The advertisement carries the potent voice of the young girl, as a bunch of people lie sleeping away in the backdrop.  

“Alarm abhi baja nahi, Rape abhi hua nahi. Kisan abhi mara nahi, abhi ye phul gira nahi. Khiladi ne medal abhi hara nahi, alarm abhi naja nahi….” (Translation from Hindi: The alarm hasn’t gone off yet, nor has the rape happened. We are awaiting farmer suicides, bridges to collapse and players to lose medals. The alarm has still not gone off….)

It is almost always, that we collectively as a society react with outrage only after apathy has befallen! We head out on candle marches. Oh well!!!! Of course express anger on social media, crib about the deteriorating law and order of the country. We boil with rage when a catastrophe strikes.

But does it really solve our issues?

Candle marches, Facebook posts, Twitter protests and arm chair activism, it’s time to change our behavior towards what affects our society. The outrage must metamorphosis into a newer form of activism- and that is prevention. Can you and I do something? Of course we can.

  • Make some noise, well before something goes wrong.
  • The government needs to hear- whether it is encouraging our sports personnel or securing the lives of our farmers.
  • Do your bit for your city.
  • Segregate and recycle waste.
  • Be sensible on the road, by doing your bit such as reducing noise pollution and road rage.
  • Raise your children, boys as well as girls responsibly.

Its high time we pre-act than react!!!!!!!                  

4 Main Reasons Why Indians Prefer a Son

4 Main Reasons Why Indians Prefer a Son

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “First Light.”


To Prime Minister Modi’s “Beti Padao Beti Bachao” scheme.

As a mother of two girls, all through the years, I have had people telling me, about the importance of having a son. So last week I decided to chat up with people I know- both young and old- to understand what the actual thought is. And I must say I was appalled at what came out of it.

When I was expecting my elder one, the “renowned” elderly women of my colony would often judge the shape of my pregnancy bump “Mubarak ho, lag raha he pehla bachcha ladka hi hoga”, (Congratulations, looks like your first born is going to be a boy). I used to brush this kind of statement with a smile. Hubby and me never really bothered about gender and were more concerned about sailing through pregnancy and delivery smoothly. Of course I proved their prediction wrong and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Their first reaction post delivery was, “Yeah kaise ho gaya? Tumne Krishnaji ki puja ki hoti tho aaj Bal Krishna tere godh mein khel rahe hote.”(How did this happen? If you had worshipped lord Krishna, today he would be in your arms).

When I was expecting my second one, my household seemed tensed (except for hubby and me). My parents-in-law wanted their dear son to have a son. It was of importance to them. Hubby and I of course seldom bothered. When the second girl was born, no one said anything. The celebration was kept minimal and the air of disappointment could be felt.

This is probably the story in many more households. People don’t really neglect the girl child once born, but a male child is often preferred. And these kinds of individuals are present in every strata of society-doesn’t matter whether they are educated or not, doesn’t matter if they are in their 30s or in their 60s. The thought still prevails.

So here are the reasons people resonated.

  1. Economic factor: The traditional social set up focuses on the son being the main bread winner of the family. He is expected to earn and take care of his parents in their old age. When I mentioned the fact that girls are financially independent today and earning their own living to a 60 something Mrs. Tiwari in my colony, here is what she had to say, “Beti kama bhi leti he, tho usse thodi paise lenge. Damaat kya sochega?” (Even if the girl works, how could we take money from her? What would the son-in-law think?)
  2. Higher financial liability on the daughter: Here is another ridiculous reason I heard. It is more expensive to bring up a girl child. Not only do you have to educate her, you also have to save up for her marriage and may be for other occasions in her future life.
  3. More responsibility and more cautiousness with a girl child: Ok so this reason beats it all. Girls are an additional responsibility. With the number of rape and eve teasing around, there is an additional responsibility of protection of the girl child. One always has to be on tenterhooks when she goes out.
  4. Reasons resonated by the elderly. Continuing the family name and the task of doing karma has always been on the shoulders of the son. This is still something people are concerned about, despite girls now coming forward to do the last rites of their parents. At least I was happy that the young educated individuals I spoke to didn’t advocate this much.

I have learnt one thing after this exercise- Schemes will be launched in plenty by the Prime Minister. Schemes would come and go. But what really needs to happen is a change from within each one of us. At the grass root level we need to evolve new thought processes and advocate these to our next generation. It is only then would issues such as gender biases cease to exist.

I shall leave you with a video that speaks volumes about the existing thought process. Brilliantly made by “Grey India”

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