Jaipur, Jan 22 (PTI) Distractions are many and attention is low among children of today, writer Sudha Murty said here on Sunday, adding that the parents should keep them away from gadgets and motivate them to read books till they are at least 14.
The chairperson of Infosys Foundation was talking to the media on the sidelines of the 16th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Murty noted that it was not easy to bring up children in today’s environment, especially after Covid when schools made it mandatory for them to attend online classes.
“It will affect their eyes in the long run, attention span has come down too. It’s a worldwide thing, it’s not just in India or Jaipur, everywhere it is happening,” the 72-year-old said.
However, she also said that even though there has been a decline in the reading habits, there was still hope for the young generation as the habit of gathering knowledge is still continuing.
“But I prefer our children should not use electronic gadgets, as it affects their eyes, they will not enjoy the simple things like holding a book, and gadgets will distract you a lot more. So at least up to 10-14 years they should read, later leave it to them after 16 years whether they want to continue their reading habits,” the Padma Shri awardee said.
The author is known for her children’s books, and books on her own lived experiences in Kannada and English.
Talking about her writing process, she confessed that people, phone calls and food distract her while she writes in the early morning.
“I write from five to eight in the morning, because I don’t get any calls in the morning. I want to be alone when I am writing, I don’t like disturbances because the thought process will be affected.
“I don’t eat something, I don’t talk to people at that time. Because it is such an intense process. I like to drink water or coconut water, not more than that,” the writer added.
While the writing part of a book takes her around 15 days, the research and character development can take up to three years. Some books like Gopi’s Diary take her a surprisingly short time of three to four hours.
“Normally I finish writing in 15-20 days what I want to write, because I am thinking throughout the year. When I write about my dog Gopi, it takes three-four hours for me because Gopi sits in front of me and I can understand Gopi. What Gopi thinks I can see. By and large thinking takes more time than writing, because writing is bringing it to a physical form,” the author of “The Gopi Diaries” said.
She also advised the younger generation to not get carried away by “power and money” and focus on “hard work and honesty”.
“If you really understand life, power and money should not affect you. But you require a strong mind for that. Don’t be carried away with power, with money. Enjoy the small things and work hard and with honesty. It may not pay you immediately, but in the longer run you can create something good,” she said. PTI MAH SHD SHD