To paraphrase Yogi Berra, ‘you can hear a lot just by listening’.
I’ve been commissioned by VR Bengaluru to conceptualise an art installation on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which falls on 26th June 2018.
My art installation is titled ‘Lend Your Ear’. The idea is to emphasise the importance of listening. Listening = Love. Listening is the first step to help children grow healthy, safe and remain drug-free. The installation will be on view from 22nd June to 26th June at VR Bengaluru.
In addition, I will be requesting parents to take a pledge that they will listen to their children and as a reminder, will be distributing little pledge cards.
Most importantly, I will be hosting a Creation Station on 22nd & 23rd June at VR Bengaluru where little kids are invited to create art and craft that convey the importance of listening to parents. The theme of this activity is ‘Listen First’.
Through my installation, I want to urge today’s parents to avoid distractions like our own thoughts, concerns, outside forces like text messages, phone calls and social media and take time out each day to actively listen to our children. Even if for a minute, ask your child about how their day is going. What plans they have. What they wish to do with their time. Ask them to tell you something that happened to them on the day. Tell them something of your own. Whenever you get the chance, just listen to them. Listen to the beauty of your child’s life: the way their eyes gleam when they tell you the happiest moment of their day, the way the tears fall when they do the saddest.
Listen to your child to keep them from feeling lonely. Listen to them to let know them how much you love them. Listening = Caring!
‘In a National Survey conducted by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for the year 2000-2001(report published in 2004), it was estimated that about 732 lakh persons in India were users of alcohol and drugs. Of these 87 lakh used Cannabis, 20 lakh used opiates and 625 lakh were users of Alcohol.’
‘According to one report, almost 74 per cent Indian homes have one member, an adult, who is a drug addict. Then where do the kids go? Kids as young as 13, even 14, are said to be turning to drugs. It starts off as an experimental thing and in most cases, turns into a dangerous habit.’
LISTEN FIRST is a UNODC initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.
I heartily invite you to come to VR Bengaluru and share this information with your friends.
Let’s make our future drug-free!