By Robinder Sachdev
Come on, Kiddo!
Though I write this letter to you, I am aware that you may not get to read this letter right away because you may not be reading, or accessing, the platform that is publishing this letter. So, perhaps it will be your parents who will read this – and they may share a trickle down message of what I am saying to you.
Separately, I am also writing a similar piece in Children’s World which happens to be the largest, longest, oldest running children magazine in India over last 60 years in the print form, and delivered in homes. In that article my editorial board will help me simplify my message – and you will get that in your mail-box mail if you subscribe to the magazine. The next issue of the magazine will reach your mail-boxes in two weeks – that is how physical magazines, and mail-boxes work.
This letter that I write, though it is addressed to you, will be read by your parents, and not you. Therefore, this letter is actually more for the parents in India – and for them to talk with you about how you can help them in these times of demonetization.
Now, here is what you – the children of India, age 13 onwards, must do to help India. Right now.
Firstly, you may have heard about something known as “demonetization”? In TV debates during dinner time as your parents tune in? Or, as you listen to your parents discussing something about currency, banks, and such? If you are anywhere in age 13-teen onwards, there is a good possibility that you must be hearing this jargon in your homes.
Secondly, your parents, and the parents of your parents, are grappling this issue of “demonetization”. Actually this may be a good time for you to Google search, and learn about what is the meaning of this term – demonetization. Learn about finance, money, banking, and taxes as you vaguely try to understand what is happening in the India around you.
Thirdly, now is the time for you be the Ninja-warrior. Be the helpful daughter, son, and even more – be the loving, helpful granddaughter/grandson of your parents and grand-parents. Help them.
You must help your parents and grandparents to navigate the various technology-related issues that have been thrown up by this decision of the government of India. Using technology to do what we do – is simple, for you and me. But my friend, not so simple also, for our parents, grand-parents.
Let us keep aside any debates and pros and cons of “demonetization”. You, the child can be a Ninja – please help your parents, and your grandparents, to transition towards using technology for their banking and financial – and cash needs.
I know already many of you are doing this – but I guess it is time that you step up and play a major role in the transformation of India. I do not know if this exercise of the government of India is good, bad, or ugly – but I do know that this is a fact today. So, in the interest of peace of mind of your parents and grand-parents – please help them technology-wise.
There is a saying – some people are wise, and some are otherwise. I do not know if the government of India of today has been wise or otherwise regarding this decision. But what I do know and trust is that you will be wise and help your parents and grandparents to help them with how to use technology in the face of the situation they are facing in India.
(Robinder Sachdev is the President of Imagindia Institute, an independent think tank and research center with a mission to promote the image and imagination of India. Robinder is also a lifelong trustee of the Children’s Book Trust – the oldest national children organization of India).