This year, like never before, we have witnessed the vanishing sanctity of schools as safe havens for children to grow, be nourished and gear up for the big bad world. Besides schools, the increasing importance of parenting and guiding children through today's modern world of rampant social media use has been greatly enhanced. After the Blue Whale scare, where children were driven to commit suicide following the guidelines of an ominous internet game, we saw the brutal murder of young Pradhyumn, in an elite school in Gurugram. Now, we are witnessing another horrific case, where a four-year-old boy has been accused of sexually abusing his classmate, another four-year-old girl. While the rampancy of sexual abuse is obvious to our senses now, the age of those involved in this matter, is a startling reminder of the true omnipresence of this phenomenon today.
Clearly, a four-year-old is not cognitively sound enough to apprehend the entire course or consequences of his actions—especially when attempting something as radical as sexual abuse. Fingers then are naturally pointed to parents, the environment in which the child is being cocooned and the unethical acquaintance to events or images that the child is exposed to. Childhood, till even a decade back, was understood as the most precious and pious period of one's life. Now alas, the tables have turned. Not only have people come out and bravely spoken of their horrific childhood experiences at the hands of molesters and abusers, but also, now we have children becoming active perpetrators and not merely remaining mute victims. A child of four is too tender to be punished by the burden of sexual abuse which is possibly the biggest threat to individual dignity. Besides, legislations do not allow for the prosecution of children under seven. This incident is a harsh eye-opener of the realities that are floating in today's time.
Parents busy battling the pressures of work while fulfilling family responsibilities often let their children rest with the use of the internet. We all know the perils of the internet and the dangers it can welcome to our doorsteps. This event of sexual abuse in a school in Dwarka must be treated with utmost seriousness. It has not only hampered the young girl who came home crying of pain in her lower abdomen, it has undoubtedly also hampered the life of the young boy, who probably never had any insight into the consequences of his actions. Curiosity is an essential aspect of childhood and it must be preserved—yet, while preserving it there must be additional surveillance. Each incident like this depicts the failure of our society in preserving childhood. There are no bad children; there are only incidences of bad parenting.