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Ruskin Bond Talks On Children Losing Their Innocence

The books they read sometimes maybe talk of love and love making in a bold manner which might border on crudity

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He's lived in this humble Ivy Cottage since 1981 and has penned numerous tales to traverse a 68-year-long journey exclusively spent in writing
Ruskin Bond is one of the most celebrated Indian writers across the globe. Wikimedia commons

A wordsmith who has always celebrated love, author Ruskin Bond says he cringes at times seeing the “crudity” with which women are written or spoken about now, also stressing that children today have lost their innocence.

Hot on the heels of young cricketers, who are treated as icons by children in the Indian households, Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul bandying about sexist remarks in a television show and making all the wrong noises for that, Bond said he is aware that the general tone when talking about women has gone hoarse.

“Children are losing their innocence or have already lost it because of the climate they are exposed to,” Bond, 84, told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the TATA Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.

Brain tumours may occur in children with common genetic syndrome
Children are losing their innocence or have already lost it because of the climate they are exposed to,   Pixabay

“The books they read sometimes maybe talk of love and love making in a bold manner which might border on crudity,” he said.

“You see 12-year olds watching hard porn on the streets and that was unthinkable during our time. We did not have easy access to so many things during our day.

“So I think too much exposure to a lot of things early on and not seeing or reading the right kinds of things has lead to this,” said the creator of “The Room on the Roof” (1956), “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra” (1992), “The Blue Umbrella” (1974) and “A Flight of Pigeons” (2003).

Bond also chose to speak specifically on the Pandya-Rahul issue, underlining that they should think twice before going to such talk shows and that they should be given a second chance.

“I think they did make a mistake and such talk shows should be avoided as I feel it is also responsible for the way they behaved. They got carried away. Anyway, I read what all is going on and I feel we should not be too hard on them.”

stories with realistic characters
Children increasingly identify with stories having human characters. Pixabay

Bond, whose supernatural stories have been made into a web series, said it is a way to stay relevant in today’s times, adding that ghosts are not out to scare or harm people all the time and it’s a “safe fear” that people like to indulge in.

“You can think of it that way (web series helps in staying relevant). It might help because in any case, those people, people who read, young people, many of them do enjoy reading ghost stories and tales of the supernatural as I did when I was a boy.

Also Read: Proud Of Spreading Chills And Thrills Among Children: ‘Goosebumps’ Author R.L. Stine

“And, of course, it’s only a part of my writing output, but I enjoy doing the ghost story or spooky story and particularly when I run out of other ideas because I can cook them up quite easily.

“Especially your hill stations are reputed to be full of them,” said Bond who lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.

The first episode of “Parchayee: Ghost Stories by Ruskin Bond” premiered earlier this month and the subsequent parts will unfold till June. (IANS)

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Gavi Appealing for $7.4 Billion to Immunize 300 Million Children in 2021-25

Gavi’s latest fundraising drive is its most ambitious to date

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Gavi, Immunize, Children
FILE - A child is vaccinated against Ebola in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 13, 2019. VOA

Gavi, the global vaccine alliance that targets developing countries, said Friday that it was appealing for $7.4 billion to immunize 300 million children in 2021-25.

Gavi’s latest fundraising drive is its most ambitious to date. Officials said they expected huge returns from what would be the agency’s most comprehensive and cost-effective preventive health package ever.

Gavi said the vaccines would protect against 18 diseases, saving up to 8 million lives. Spokeswoman Frederique Tissandier said sustainable investment was needed for the project because there still are 1.5 million people dying every year from vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The situation is increasingly fragile because of climate change, because of wars, because of the rise of the population in the urban slums,” she said. “So you have more and more epidemics that are spreading around.”

Gavi, Immunize, Children
Gavi, the global vaccine alliance that targets developing countries, said Friday that it was appealing for $7.4 billion to immunize 300 million children in 2021-25. Pixabay

Tissandier said Gavi planned to introduce new vaccines to prevent deadly diseases. For instance, she said, Gavi is ready to invest up to $150 million in a new Ebola vaccine stockpile once it is prequalified by the World Health Organization.

She told VOA that Gavi also would help the Democratic Republic of the Congo obtain the lifesaving vaccines it needs to immunize children against other killer diseases.

“We are going to fund, for instance, starting in September, measles campaigns in DRC to cover — I think the number is close to 18 million kids — to strengthen routine immunization, because we really focus on routine immunization,” Tissandier said. “We fund the stockpile against cholera, yellow fever or meningitis to respond to outbreaks.”

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She said support for the global polio eradication program remained a priority. Tissandier said Gavi would invest up to $800 million to accelerate the rollout of inactivated poliovirus vaccine. This would protect against a re-emergence of the disease in areas such as Africa, which is on the cusp of becoming polio-free, and other regions that already have achieved that status. (VOA)