Sushma Swaraj tips on grooming kids! | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Sushma Swaraj tips on grooming kids!

Worried that your child is hooked on to junk but clueless how to get it off your little one’s plate?

lucknow Updated: Nov 02, 2010 09:02 IST
HT Correspondent

Worried that your child is hooked on to junk but clueless how to get it off your little one’s plate?

Consult Sushma Swaraj, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha! Seriously, during her 30-minute speech in Lucknow, where she had come as a chief guest to unveil the special issue (on ‘mother power’) of RSS mouthpiece Rashtra Dharma magazine, on Sunday evening, Sushma spoke extempore on the role of a mother -- working mother to be precise. She also appealed for ending female infanticide.

“I used to pack poori sabzi/paratha aloo in my daughter’s tiffin-box. One day she told me that her friends bought pizzas and burgers to school and she also wanted to have them. I agreed and started providing her fast/junk food all the time – to her school, for lunch, dinner and even breakfast. After few days she got bored and said she longed for daal chawal,” she said. She said, “If we want our children to understand that our values and concepts are better than the west, then we would have to befriend them first. Be their friends. Encourage them to speak to you freely. Learn their lingo and then quietly explain to them how our language is so much richer. Slowly, they would start listening to you.”

Throughout her speech, she kept on insisting that it’s not enough to spend time with children. “They need quality time, your attention. Are you there when they need you? Even if you are a working mother, you certainly can manage your time to be with your little angels,” said Sushma.

Sharing an incident from her life, she said, “I used to campaign for my party candidate with my 8-month old daughter. Every few hours I used to take time off and feed my child at the residence of those party workers whose houses were on the way. Party workers used to hold her when I used to give my speech. As she grew up, I started keeping Friday evenings exclusively for her, during which we discussed everything under the sun.”

She said, “The net result of all this grooming is that when at 17 years I sent my child abroad for 7 years for her studies, she didn’t get infected with any of the vices that we usually associate with the western world. Today, she is back and as cultured, as Indian.”

Recalling another example, she said, “As information and broadcasting minister with additional charge of telecommunications, I was faced with the difficult question of allowing Internet in India or not. Yes, there was the danger of children misusing Internet. So the question of should we shut ourselves up to keep the prospect at bay?”

She said, “It was then that I came across lines from Rabindranath Tagore, which meant that if we shut doors, the vices would not enter our world. But then the virtues would have to stay out too. Then I took a call and said, running away from reality isn’t the answer. Our mothers should be ready to play the guard and the guide.”