The Financial Express

Questions that come from millennial minors

| Updated: December 31, 2020 23:12:07

Evaly and Fianancial Express Evaly and Fianancial Express
UNICEF file photo used only for representational purpose UNICEF file photo used only for representational purpose

If 'corona' is pronounced as a Bangla word, it denotes 'don't do it'. In fact, a lot of things can't be done since the outbreak of the deadly virus that has made it impossible to live a life the way we were used to until then.

The world had to broadly comply with coronavirus-induced restrictions. And more than a year after the pandemic had hit countries after countries, its effects on individuals and families are far from being known to all those who think they can bring remedy to people.

A well-paid private sector executive, who has lost his job, was recently planning to shift his family from Dhaka to a district town suburb. His son, a grade-II student at an English school, declined to leave the capital city and the family has already lost their favourite car.

When his father took him to a slum to show people's conditions there, the boy cried out, "Oh, my Good! We are still better off." There is no answer to why his beloved father can't get a suitable job with his qualifications. "Can I soon be a grown up man, highly educated, and find a good job to remove sufferings of my parents?" the 10-year-old boy asked his mother.

This is such a story that cannot be published using original names of the family members. This is not the only one of such stories either. As different surveys indicate, at least 20 per cent Bangladesh people have become the 'new poor'. It's hard to imagine the state of another 20 per cent people who were already living below the poverty line. This percentage (40 or so) doesn't reflect the human faces that bear the day-to-day sufferings for harsh realities of their lives.

However, there are questions that are being asked by those who have just started thinking about life -- based on what they see in their surroundings, including virtual platforms.

"Why are so much bad talks about our hospitals and those who would provide healthcare services?" This is one of the common questions the parents may have to swallow. Some of the children ask which of the countries have the best healthcare facilities in the world.

Children from privileged urban families don't want to believe rural boys and girls of their age can't join classes online. Children in rural Bangladesh, on the other hand, wonder if urban students have continued their classes digitally during the pandemic.

Fortunately or unfortunately, both groups are more or less aware of conditions of each other. Some of the advanced children know, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have earned a lot of money during the pandemic. "Why not can we do so?" a little boy asked his teenage senior while playing game online.

They observed how a sitting US President, Donald Trump, lost to the opposition contestant, Joe Biden, this year and asked their guardians if such an election would be held in their country when they would be eligible to vote.

Topics of discussions by the Bangladeshi children of 7-17 years would seem to be surprisingly ambitious to senior generations. They ask point blank why a high level of innovation, research and development is not possible till date in the country they were born in.

Maybe, today's children are the agents of change while their previous generations' realisation from the pandemic experience is mostly undermined by confusion.

Many of the 20th century romantic revolutionaries once believed nothing is impossible in life and society. Most of them flopped eventually and some have later turned into either opportunists or cowards.

The new generations are different, which are going to learn through the pandemic that everything is not important to them but some essentials are essential. The question of good or bad is straightforward to them. Is that so simple to their parents and seniors who have witnessed a series of difficulties in their own life?

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