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Bad Publicity.

I don't watch too much television. I would if there was time, but my life is so busy nowadays. My main occupation is taking care of the needs of my four schoolgoing children, jostling for a place in the kitchen and juggling my household tasks like laundry, housecleaning, etc. When a little time becomes available, I'd prefer to sit at my computer. I love to read, write and visit blogs. It is a matter of choosing to do the thing which I enjoy most. I catch a bit of television when I'm eating, as the television set is right next to the dining table.

There has been an advertisement for a new reality show (can't for the life of me remember the name!) running for a while. It is a set-up situation type show, where a couple, i.e. one male and one female have to care for an infant for a while. I only know a little about the show, but one of the couples includes Rakhi Sawant, a glamour girl type who is often seen doing singing and dancing numbers in Hindi films - usually comedy films. She is appearing in the show with her recently acquired fiance.

The advertisements are full of shots of a bleary eyed Rakhi, preparing bottles in a kitchen for a screaming infant, trying to pacify the kid all the while. Then, as she rocks the infant to sleep, she complains in an extremely tired voice "why did they give me the baby who never sleeps?", presumeably complaining about the show's organisers. This show has presumeably been done abroad before according to the same formula, with celebrities who are local to the country concerned.

This show will probably make a lot of money for the people concerned and the public will obviously fall about with laughter at the idea of a celebrity glamour girl stuck changing nappies and living in a sleep deprived zombie-like state, a prisoner of the whims of a tiny tyrant baby.

It is not funny at all. It is sinister. And it's horrible publicity for babies!

First of all, in the earliest years, babies should be cared for by familiar people whom they see regularly, whether those people are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or even hired people like childminders (or 'ayahs' as they are called here in India). To take a tiny child out of it's regular environment and place it in the care of two individuals who don't have a clue about it's needs, is nothing short of cruelty. Even if it is in a monitored and controlled environment.

Secondly, and I'm so sorry to say this but human beings are designed to feed their own babies. Breastfeeding is an extremely unfashionable topic, and some people may find it embarrassing to discuss, especially in mixed company, but it is not some eccentric, backward fad. It is a natural and fuss free way to provide an infant with the nutrition it needs. It is also a very natural way for the mother to develop a strong, loving relationship with her infant. Of course you can still love your baby if you don't breastfeed it, but overall, the infancy of a child seems to go much more smoothly if the child gets the mother's milk. Even a working mother can feed a child if she wants to, provided she has access to the right information and support. There is a lot of modern equipment available to express the milk and the child can be bottle fed by a carer in the mother's absence - with the mother's milk! I met a teacher in Ireland the last time I was home, and she had brought up all her three children that way. "No bottle ever crossed my doorstep when my children were small!" she declared proudly.

My point is that having and rearing babies is not some endless nightmare! It is an amazing experience, and if it is done properly, it can be a joy. Yes, some difficulties come up, but nothing you can't handle comfortably. This stupid upcoming television show is nothing but bad publicity for babies. And babies don't deserve that!


  1. These reality shows are a pain, cand do with them nor without the, i hate myself after an episode of watching..really feel, i should have spent it some other way, and rakhi sawant is bleary eyed raisinga kid, what happens when shes doing those idiotic late night dances..she looks fresh then somehow..doesnt she?

  2. I have watched that reality show and it was such a pity to see these small babies in hands of strangers..i shreak even to think of putting my baby though this

  3. It's an appalling idea. I am quite horrified that a baby would be subjected to this. I hate reality shows...I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than watch them

  4. That seems criminal, and certainly wouldn't be allowed here in the US.

    The ONLY TV I watch is sport, or the occasional movie my husband puts on. I just find TV in general one long advertisement, and refuse to be sucked in.

    I blame the BBC. Watching shows with NO COMMERCIALS really spoiled me for anything else.

  5. I could not agree more. It is cruel on the child and the show is sending wrong signals to the viewing public. This is not entertainment.

  6. you are lucky not to see tv often. here in iataly it is just terrible: low quality, too much politicts, and stupid tv shows :(
    have a good weekend,

  7. I'm pretty sure that would not be allowed here in the U.S. Thank goodness!

  8. There was a time when I used to take pride in the quality of TV programs produced in India.
    But today the commericial aspect has taken over and the TV chanels are filling their airtimes with little or no intelectual value.
    Its a pity!
    But I do agree that it is great experience to bring up a baby with all the hardship that comes with it... it is worth it.

  9. I disposed of my TV 11 years ago so I would not be subjected to such drivel. I hear more than enough about programmes from the radio, newspapers and the blog world.

    I was unfortunately unable to breastfeed my Elly, but made up for it by talking quietly to her both when she was awake and asleep. I like to think the result was a bright and cheerful child.


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