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Karnataka govt issues order to ban birthday celebrations in all schools

The Karnataka government has banned birthday celebrations in all childcare institutions, including private and government-run facilities, to protect vulnerable children's self-esteem. Celebrations by staff, officials, and celebrities have been found to negatively impact these children's mental health. Instead, the focus will be on inclusive and creative activities.

Karnataka govt issues order to ban birthday celebrations in all schools vkp
First Published Jun 19, 2024, 8:07 PM IST

The Karnataka state government has issued an order banning birthday celebrations in all schools statewide. This new regulation applies to government, government-aided, and private childcare institutions, and extends to staff, officials, private individuals, celebrities, dignitaries, and their children.

Previously, the government had prohibited the celebration of religious festivals in residential schools and colleges under the Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Association. This directive, issued in February 2024, stated that only national holidays, state festivals, and Jayanthi should be celebrated.

According to the latest government notification, staff, officials, private individuals, celebrities, political leaders, and pontiffs have been known to celebrate birthdays lavishly in childcare institutions. These celebrations often involve cutting cakes and distributing sweets to the children.

The children enrolled in these institutions come from challenging backgrounds. They include those in conflict with the law, rescued from child labour, subjected to child marriage, victims of rape, rejected by their parents, fatherless, or rescued from begging. These children are enrolled in foster care institutions by order of Juvenile Justice Boards. Given their deprived and troubled backgrounds, the government emphasizes the need for creative programs that bring joy to these children's lives and encourage them to be cheerful and happy.

However, the practice of celebrating birthdays with grand gestures in these institutions has raised concerns. The children in these care facilities, who cannot afford such celebrations for their birthdays, may feel a negative impact on their self-esteem and self-respect. The comparison with lavishly celebrated birthdays can lead to feelings of inadequacy and trauma, which could weaken their mental well-being.

To protect these children's self-esteem and emotional health, the government has decided to ban birthday celebrations in all related institutions. This measure aims to create a more supportive and emotionally safe environment for the children, ensuring that they do not feel left out or disadvantaged. 

The government believes that by focusing on inclusive and creative activities, they can better support these vulnerable children's mental and emotional development, fostering a positive and nurturing environment in which they can thrive.

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