MP: Parents turn to sports to cut children’s smart phone addiction

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2016 20:00 IST
Players of Football School of India at Rajeev Gandhi College. These children gave up their habit of chewing tobacco to play football and lead a healthy life. (HT photo)

Addiction of smart phone among children and teenagers seems to be no less a worry for parents than the drug addiction. And here come sports as a saviour for many parents in MP who used to advise their children to be away from sports and focus on your studies.

With increasing number of boys and girls getting hooked to their smart phones due to internet boom, parents are at the wit’s end how to get their children away from this modern “drug”.

Sample this: Recently an 11-year-old boy committed suicide in Bhopal after his mother scolded him for his obsession with his smart phone. The problem parents are facing is how to tackle their children without being too harsh fearing any extreme step from them.

To deal with the problem, some parents have embarked upon an idea to keep their children engaged with sports. The summer vacation came in handy for them when they turned to nearby stadia or other sports fields.


“A large number of parents come to me during summer camp with a problem that their wards spend most of time on smart phone and laptop which causing adverse effect on their health and behaviour,” said Vikas Kharadkar, district sports officer and in-charge of Tatya Tope Stadium here. “They have started sending their children in different sports camp to develop interest,” he added.


Addicted to tobacco, 10-year-old Ramesh of Sallaiya used to spend most of the time on road while roaming around with friends but football has changed his life in six months. He left chewing tobacco and now spends most of the time on lush green football ground. Ramesh is not only child whose life has been changed by football.

Football School of India affiliated Livefit Sports Club has transformed the life of half-a-dozen slum dwellers. Coach Rishish Dubey left his job with a multinational company to come to Bhopal to popularise the game.

Dubey said, “I saw a group of children roaming around and I called them. I saw them chewing tobacco. When I offered them football, they grabbed it tightly. When I asked them why they chew tobacco, they said they do it for time pass. I tried to channelise their energy.”

“The children looked so eager to play football. When I asked them to leave tobacco, they agreed immediately. About half dozen children gave up the ill habit in six months,” said Dubey.

To keep them away from addiction of whitener, hockey coach Mohsin Khan gathered children from nearby areas of Bhopal railway station and gave them hockey sticks. The lives of children transformed with a small change.


Sports also helped others to have better concentration on their studies. Kanpur zone IIT advanced exam topper Shravik Mittal, 17, said he scored well in the exam as he studied with better concentration thanks to sports. To release all kind of stress and pressure, Mittal said he used to play football and cricket.

His father Rajesh Mittal said: “Students’ mind exhaust during study and smart phone and computer add stress on them. So, I never gave smart phone and computer to my son. He lives a healthy life by playing football and cricket.”

Vinay Mishra, psychologist, said: “The addiction of technology is not only increasing pressure among children but it is a hindrance in their physical and mental growth. There is a need to channelise their energy through sports.”

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