By Subhash K Jha
Today:- Mumbai, July – Of late there have been a number of reality TV shows involving children of all age groups. While the platform does provide immense exposure for the little ones, it also effects their health and education. Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar believes the platform is fine for the children as long as there are some “regulatory laws”, but some celebrities like Hema Malini opined that children should be kept away from the reality TV shows completely because of the pressure they go through. Here is what the celebrities had to say: Shoojit Sircar: At the age of 7 or 8 you can perform on stage where you are not scrutinised by some judges, and regulatory laws should be made… Everything is designed around these shows to “Sell”… Ayesha Shroff: I believe it’s important to foster a spirit of healthy competition in your children. Every child is different though, so it’s important to take into consideration the child’s mental makeup before entering them into competitions. Some kids thrive in such situations but some can’t handle it. I believe it’s very very individual from child to child. Personally speaking, both my children came into their own competing on sports fields. Naseeruddin Shah: Maybe reality shows themselves should be barred! Hema Malini: Children should be kept away from reality shows. No doubt they are talented. But the pressure on these children to perform is killing… Other children will also try and follow them. They will miss their beautiful childhood. Sandhya Mridul: Reality shows are exacting. It’s no place for children and they definitely rob them of their childhood and innocence. Amongst other things. It’s practically child labour in my opinion. Dia Mirza: I don’t subscribe to the idea of bans. But I do agree that there must be strict guidelines for shows involving children. I also agree that the manner in which these reality contests involving children are conducted are grossly negligent of a child’s wellbeing. Sayani Gupta: I have always felt even with little kids doing serials and ads, that it strips them of their innocence and somewhere pushes them to grow up before they should. It also gives them a false sense of popularity and many a time when these children grow up into adults, they always feel they are neither here nor there. People don’t recognise them anymore but they still undergo a sense of turmoil as they need to find there place in the industry again from scratch. These kids talent shows honestly are quite appalling. I feel children should be protected from any kind of fake notion of stardom or a false sense of being. It is imperative to protect their childhood. And actually use those years to learn a craft and show their talent. It’s like counting the eggs before they have been hatched. Please spare their childhood.
By Subhash K Jha