The recent case of 16-year old Sinjini Sengupta who suffered paralysis after participating in a reality show, has sent shock waves throughout the country. The Kolkata teenager went into depression after she suffered 'public humiliation' on being rebuked by the judges. She is now undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in Bangalore.
While the producers of the reality show have been questioned on the issue, the role of the parents has also come under scanner.
The government-run child's rights group -- the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) summoned Sinjini's parents to ascertain whether they were putting excessive pressure on her to perform.
Slamming the increasing participation of children in reality shows on television, the panel went to the extent of calling the trend "new age child labour.' In this context, the commission has set up a 10-member committee to frame guidelines for children's participation in such shows, which will look into issues related to working conditions, health and welfare of children working in such competitive programmes.
But the point that causes serious concern is are children today losing their childhood in the great rush to earn name, fame and money? And is the society, which is taking to these shows like wisps to the flame, driving kids beyond their capacities to be what they are emotionally, psychologically and physically not capable of handling? Who really is to blame for the mess we are now finding ourselves in - the parents who push their kids to live their dreams for them, the viewers who stay glued to watch such shows, the producers who look to increase the TRPs by "public humiliation and stern rebukes"...The questions are too many, and it's high time that we found some answers, before it's too late.