“We have had people ask us if we want our kids to become cooks or gardeners and our answer has always been to let them do what their interest lies in.”
The Buddhadeo household in Gurugram is celebrating and rightfully so. Earlier this month, Jaysheel Buddhadeo, all of 8 years of age, was awarded the National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017, in the field of Indian classical music and social service. At an age when children are learning to find their voice and be heard, this child has already found a cause he wishes to work for.
We, at The Better India, spoke to the Buddhadeos to understand how this award came about and what it means for the family.
Bhavisha, Jayasheel’s proud mother, says, “It is truly an honour to have been invited to receive this award.”
“The interesting part is my older son (Taksheel) also won this award when he was eight years old. So for us, it is a double celebration.”
Intrigued by that I ask her more about the boys. She says, “From a very young age both the boys (Taksheel and Jaysheel) have been very keen on working with nature and doing what they can to protect it. All we did was encourage and nurture that in them.”
Bhavisha and her husband gave complete freedom to the boys to chose whatever they wanted to explore, and this worked for them She says, “My children love cooking and gardening, I have never stopped them from doing either. We have had people ask us if we want our kids to become cooks or gardeners and our answer has always been to let them do what their interest lies in.”
“We also consciously do not assign any gender stereotypes to the activities the boys take up.”
Bhavisha’s older son, Taksheel, is an 11-year-old now and is already actively involved in social work and the preservation of the environment. “I have been making my own compost for a few years now, and also enjoy planting saplings in little pots and handing them over to people. In the last few years I have certainly planted more trees and saplings than I can keep a count of,” he proudly informs me.
Apart from winning the award, Jaysheel has also set a National Record in The India Book of records and The World Records of India as a “Young Crusader To Promote Environment.”
His initiatives for environment conservation have been registered in the United Nations Environment Program.
He is also the youngest recipient of a Diploma in Hindustani Classical Music from Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad and has also been invited and honoured by radio channels as a child artist.
The National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement award was instituted in 1996 to give recognition to children with exceptional abilities and who have achieved outstanding status in various fields including academics, arts, culture, design, and sports etc.
1. Children residing in India of or above the age of (+5) years and not exceeding l8 years (as on 31st July of respective year).
2. Excellence in any one of the following fields: (Achievements that benefit society will be encouraged)
• Innovations in any area including design.
• Scholastic achievements at national level (e.g. first position in mathematics in two successive years)
• Social service
• Any other field, which deserves recognition as per the decision of the Central/National Selection Committee.
For more details about the award, click here.
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