Noida parents shield children from Aarushi murder aftermath

May 27th, 2008 - 4:26 pm ICT by admin  

By Azera Rahman
Noida, May 27 (IANS) Worried parents in the quiet Jal Vayu Vihar neighbourhood in this suburb of the national capital are apprehensive about sending their children out to play, fearing that the sordid theories being floated in the aftermath of teenager Aarushi Talwar’s murder could damage the young minds. Many also believe that the cold-blooded murders of Aarushi and a domestic help on May 15 could be the handiwork of a stranger who is still on the prowl and not that of the teenager’s father Rajesh, who has been arrested and charged with the murders.

Echoing the anguish like many parents is Sujata Jain. The homemaker finds it a challenge to handle her children, who are shaken up by the incident, and ask her some very sensitive questions that she finds hard to answer.

“At times you just don’t know what to answer to such questions as ‘Do you really think the father did it?’ It’s a very delicate issue and from their questions you can make out that the kids have been shaken by the incident,” Jain, a mother of two boys, told IANS.

Ever since the twin murders came to light, Jal Vayu Vihar, populated largely by retired armed forces officers, finds itself in very unwelcome limelight.

“The children have been affected (by the happenings). They keep hearing the news and find themselves in the midst of a media frenzy,” Jain added, the worry evident in her voice.

After speaking to a number of parents, it was evident that the murders had placed an enormous psychological burden on them. Most did not want to believe Rajesh Talwar was the murderer. Many feared it was an outsider who was responsible. There were even some, like Jain, who hoped just the opposite.

“Call it whatever but I hope that the accused is a part of the family…at least that would mean that it’s not an outsider who might be lurking in the neighbourhood,” Jain added worriedly.

Twelve-year-old Sonal spoke for many of her friends when said her mother had suddenly become very strict with her, monitoring her telephone calls and asking her endless questions whenever she wanted to step out of home.

“I hope things return to normal. My friends are facing a similar situation in their homes,” she said.

Saying that there is “distress on both sides” - among parents and children - psychiatrist Sameer Parikh said he had been receiving numerous calls every day since the murders took place.

“The incident has posed serious question about the fundamental framework of society and about all the safety parameters that we have such blind faith in. Naturally, children as well as their parents are very disturbed,” Parikh told IANS.

“What I constantly tell parents is that when their children ask them such questions as can a father kill his child, they should talk to them frankly and tell them that the world is made up of different people. Just because there are accidents on the roads we don’t stop driving, do we?

“It’s very important to let a child vent his feelings. Children are aware of the incident and unfortunately, there are more hypothetical situations than substantial ones, so it’s important to know what the child knows and then explain things to him accordingly,” he said.

Psychologist Naveen Kumar agreed.

“Parents should give the factual information to their children. One should remember that there are lots of rumours doing rounds as well…at this point of time it’s important for parents to tell what the facts are, otherwise their children will get to know all sorts of things from third parties,” Kumar said.

Like Jain, parents in the capital’s neighbourhoods are equally tense and are keeping a watch on their children, closely monitoring what they see on television.

Asmita Rai, a resident of south Delhi’s Chanakyapuri, said that ever since the murders, she has started monitoring what her kids, a son aged seven and a daughter aged 10, watch on TV.

“It’s maddening the kind of talk that is doing the rounds, both in the media and in our neighbourhood. After watching TV, my children start asking me all sorts of questions…then they get on the phone and discuss similar things with their friends,” the hapless mother said.

Kumar said that it’s very important for parents to keep the daily schedule at home as normal as possible.

“Once a child realises that there is no tension at home and things are just as normal, he will take everything in his stride. If he wants to watch TV, let him. And more importantly, let him talk his mind out,” he maintained.

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