Proper care help babies grow as good citizens

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DHAKA, June 26, 2018 (BSS/UNICEF FEATURE) – Raising a child with proper
care and with true parental responsibilities is sure to bring a meaningful
change in a family, society and also a state, which would in turn help them
break the shackles of poverty and live a life with dignity.

“I expect my baby to grow up to be a responsible and caring citizen,” says
a mother of three small children while talking to BSS at the exit gate of an
English Medium School in the posh Dhanmondi area of the capital city.

When asked what the parents hope, dream and expect for their unborn
children, Sayeda Khaleda Khanom, a housewife, replied straightway that all
the parents obviously want their children to grow up as worthy citizens to
live a dignified life and help bring a sustainable social change in the
country.

“The past experience of our socio-economic life speaks of the fact that the
larger section of our children went through a sense of social deprivation
since birth. This grew in manifold as they themselves grew up,” she said,
adding, “the situation is now changing with increased school enrolment and
good care at homes for the babies.”

Mrs. Rashida Salahuddin, another housewife whose only child studies at an
elementary class in the same school, quite philosophically expressed her
views that overall, the parents’ hopes and expectations have been
overwhelmingly positive and fitted well within the available hierarchy of
needs. She meant to say that both the basic physical needs in life and the
children’s ability to be able to fulfill their individual potential s are
particularly important.

“This qualitative exploration lays important groundwork for future
analyses and insights into the changing hopes and dreams of our parents for
their children overtime,” observed Mrs Salahuddin while looking at the last
one decade’s tremendous development in the socio-economic life in Bangladesh.

The social scientists say the parents’ hopes and dreams are being shaped by
their beliefs, morals, rules, values and ways of thinking, which are
transmitted to the children through the behavior of both mothers and fathers
towards their kids to help their positive growth and a shining future in the
potentially important ways.

The good news is that Bangladesh made one of the highly appreciable gains
this year in South Asia being ranked as the 130th best country in the world
for children to grow up. The Save the Children, a global NGO working in
Bangladesh, disclosed the fact while launching its End of Childhood report
here recently.

 

This position was upgraded from the last year’s rank of 134th, as
Bangladesh scored 701 out of possible 1000 points, up by 21 points, basically
for an increase in the number of school going children, the report said
quoting a UNESCO data that the country’s out-of-school children’s rate fell
down by 27 percent in only one year.

It is not, however, confirmed yet whether the researchers have sought the
parents’ opinion to clearly express what they perceive about their children
to be. Given the potentially self-fulfilling nature of parental wishes, it is
important to take a good care as early in the child’s life as possible to
subsequently explore whether and how the parents’ beliefs play out to a
larger extent.

Children’s evolving capacity to assert their rights allows for the gradual
mastery of decision-making. When children are allowed the opportunity to be
heard in matters that affect them, they develop competency and the ability to
function in a civilized society.

It is important to take into cognizance that the UNCRC provides for
participatory rights. Having the right to participate, however, is not the
same as having the right to decide. Participatory rights simply allow
children the opportunity, in matters that affect them, to express their views
to the decision makers.

Bangladesh Jatiya Sangsad passed the Child Bill 2013 as an act in
harmonization with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It replaced the Child Act 1974 passed by the government of Father of the
Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

His daughter and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in demonstrating her sincere
affection for all children of the country took the initiative to pass this
act in parliament. “The passing of the act is a great milestone for children
in Bangladesh,” UNICEF said in a statement.

The act has a provision for child victims and witnesses cementing legal
instruments for their protection, including compensation for victims. UNICEF
formulated a framework of child-focused budget in partnership with the
government and the Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh.

Still, a mother is the key figure in a family to properly care for her baby
while a father must be the most trusted helping hand in this holy task as
both of them have identical hopes to see their children grow as the ones to
illuminate their parents’ face.

More importantly, the development of human life in the womb is just amazing
since, month-by-month, a baby grows in the safety and comfort of his/her
mother’s womb until the big day of birth finally arrives.