The situation in Assam over the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, has brought back the kids on the street, especially in main city Guwahati.
While their tender age may not enable the kids to understand the issues leading to the protests, the consequent ban on internet services has definitely touched them.
The kids in the city who are generally stuck on their parents and guardians mobile phones, watching videos or playing games, have been seen taking recourse to outdoor games since last few days.
With schools closed till December 22 in wake of the anti-CAA protests and mobile internet service also suspended since December 11, the kids are busy once again playing on the alleys and lanes.
“My son used to play games on the phone whenever he was not studying, and it would fatigue him easily. But with internet cut now, he goes out to play with the neighbourhood kids, and though it tires him, he takes some rest and is back with his books again easily,” Sunita Gurung, a mother of a 10-year-old, said.
Echoing her, Mina Sharma said, “My daughter used to spend her leisure time on games on the phone. But these last few days, she has been either playing with other kids or pursuing her painting hobby with more vigour”.
With the city under curfew for the first couple of days and all business and office establishments also closed, the guardians were also seen joining the children for a game of cricket, football or badminton.
“This sudden closure of all activities had enabled me to enjoy some time with my daughter and her friends by once again playing ‘gully cricket’ after many years,” Sandeep Seth, a local businessman said.
The kids, too, seem to have moved on from their obsession with mobile phones and games, and adapted to the new routine of old days of outdoor games being the main source of recreation for them.
“My three-year-old son has understood there are no more videos on the phone and he doesn’t bother about them. And I am happy about it, though it’s likely he will resume watching them once internet is restored,” Simpi Bartamuly added.
While internet was snapped and curfew imposed in Guwahati since evening of December 11, the curfew was lifted from today, though mobile internet services remain suspended.
All educational institutions have been declared closed since December 12 till December 22 in 11 districts, including Kamrup (metro) under which Guwahati falls.