Health and primary education are very much connected. The traditionally children walking or cycling their way to local school and back get ample opportunities to interact and comprehend themselves with nature (bio-diversity among trees, flowers, birds, grazing flocks of animals etc). Advent of public schools with hi-fi facilities and imposing buildings often encourage parents to opt out of local schools and send their children in buses or taxis to schools situated far away travelling through congested roads for hours depriving them the opportunity to indulge with local environment.
This process may also pave way to cracking communication with hours of non-productive journey, scheduled work and high input demands. This can lead them to an attitude of relating, helplessness, cynicism and other primary symptoms of depression. Parents are busy with their career leaving children getting deprived of timely mentoring. With this, most of the children are likely to be prone to drug addiction, Juvenile delinquency or even perversion.
Pets and companion animals are being increasingly sought for mental diversion and relaxation in urban life. Animals do find use in social security including physical and emotional health.
However, managing animals may not always be simple and straight. One has to ensure that animals used are free from transmissible diseases and are themselves not emotionally stressed out. All these interlinked events add relevance to the trans-sectoral involvement proposed in one health.
Many countries and some states of India have policies restricting admission of schools to children living within 2-3 Km or limiting the number of admission to children outside the locality of the school. Apart from pressurizing children into non-performance, isolation and avoidable travel stress, the expenditure on fuel, congestion created on the city roads, the air pollution by automobiles and the blocking of the roads around schools by buses being parked on the roads are avoidable.
Though unintentional, segregation of the young children on social and economic lines is bound to create a psychological divide within a free society. Possibility of erosion in universal system of education and the possibility of marketing methodologies creeping into the sacred mission of empowering the ‘generation next’ may have adverse impact on their physical and mental health and attitude.
By Prof (Dr.) Ramakumar V
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