Gladrags to riches
Ready for taxing times
Success for Sangina
Stress isn’t child’s play
Pressure from school, from peers—even from parents—is putting increasing numbers of children under unmanageable stress. Experts say that quiet family time will do your child more good than a dozen extracurricular activities a week. Lisa Lewis reports on the rising stress level among children.
L. Brown, a marriage and family therapist, sees many patients with
performance anxiety. But lately, it's not parents concerned about their
job performance at work, or even teenagers worried about getting into
college who seek out her help. She's dealing with children stressed out
over homework. "This year, I've had a lot of kids referred (to me)
for anxiety around school performance," Brown says. "Even in
families that appear to be pretty calm, school is a tremendous
stressor," she says. She recalls a bright little girl" in
first grade who agonised over homework assignments and threw tantrums or
tore up her paper if she made a mistake. Some kids act up or throw
tantrums, while some develop physical symptoms such as headaches or
insomnia. Others end up turning to drugs or self-harm. For parents,
these behaviours are important signals that something is wrong. Parents
need to realise that "if a kid is acting out, it isn't necessarily
'just a stage'," says Margery Lapp, a marriage and family therapist
in private practice. Like Brown, Lapp sees kids who are stressed out
over academics. "Affluent communities can breed too much emphasis
on achieving and acquisition," Lapp says. "Early on, there's
the pressure to be on a track that will lead to success." It's not
just kids who are at the breaking point; parents themselves are under
stress as well. "We live in an area where often, both parents are
working," notes Jody Bove, a clinician and marriage and family
therapist. The pressure to succeed causes stress, which in turn rubs off
on the kids. "The parents come home exhausted. They walk in the
door stressed out." As a result, "the kids aren't getting the
nurturing they need." Often, "both parents are working and
struggling to maintain their
So what's a parent to do? In a word, nothing: no scheduled activities, no structured plans. "Kids need more time to just chill," says Ellen Castleman, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. "Make sure there's enough time when nothing is scheduled." She encourages families to take time out for family events and activities, citing examples like "good old-fashioned board games", family meals, watching a movie together or going for a bike ride on the weekend. "Rest and relaxation is stress-reducing," she adds.
Physical activity is too, although Castleman encourages parents to have kids pursue just one sport at a time due to overscheduling concerns. Brown sees kids who are attending so many activities —swimming, gymnastics, ballet, swimming—that they don't have any down time for play. These activities aren't the same as free play, she notes, or what she terms "creative, imaginative, social, old-fashioned play." "Being home and hanging out and drawing or playing with the kids next door is really healthy," Lapp adds, noting that this time is important for kids' socialisation. Kids also want to spend time with their parents, even if they may not seem like they do. "Try to spend even five minutes a day one on one," Bove says. "It can be so difficult when we're so busy, but it's amazing how special it can make a child feel."
"Kids long for more time with their parents, just hanging out," adds Lapp. "I don't know who developed the concept of quality time— sometimes that's not enough." She notes that it can be a fine juggling act, especially for parents who truly need to work, but encourages parents to build in small increments of time with their kids whenever they can. Sometimes, parents may also need to take some time for themselves. Bove notes that when parents walk in the door at the end of the day, having a few minutes to regroup can be crucial.
Then "they can move into the role as mom or dad and be ready for the kids." She also encourages parents to seek help when needed to lessen their load. Lapp advises parents not to delay in dealing with their children's stress symptoms, noting that it's better to overreact than underreact. Parents can first educate themselves by doing research, then schedule a consultation with their paediatrician. Parent support groups can also be a good resource. Focusing on the present may be the best advice of all.
"The most important thing is what's going on today," Bove says. "It's not all about colleges and grades." "Go appreciate your kids," Lapp adds. "They want your company. You're not going to get this time back." AFIs your child stressed ?
Gladrags to riches
AT 36, she still looks like a super model with killer looks. The svelte appearance conceals a tough character. Meet Jagi Mangat Panda, co-promoter and Director Ortel Communications Ltd and Chairperson, Orissa State Council Confederation of Indian Industry. "I did not know that I would be into entrepreneurship but I always wanted to be independent. This need has brought me where I am today,"says Jagi, the first Gladrags super model.
Her father was in the construction business in Hyderabad. After her BSc from Osmania University, the first modelling assignment came when she was still in college. Chosen as Miss Andhra Pradesh, she modelled for Apco sarees and Priya pickles. She shifted to Bombay to make a career in modelling. In the early nineties, she made a splash in the ad world in Bombay. She represented India in the World’s Best Model Contest in Turkey. After being crowned Asia’s Best Model in 1993,the same year she left India for Paris to work as a model with the agency USA Paris. Her stint lasted less than a year. Married to Baijyant Panda, a leading industrialist of IMFA (Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys) group, she says: "It was my choice. A modelling career has a short span.I could have gone on for a few more years but I wanted to leave when I was still at the peak,"says Jagi with determination glinting in her eyes. It was the same determination that facilitated her transition from modelling to the world of business
In 1995, she worked with the Projects Department in IMFA and to hone her managerial ability went for a rigorous six-month Executive Development Programme at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. After her return, she took charge of Ortel Communication, her husband’s brainchild, a modern Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) telecommunication network which was set up in Orissa to provide cable television, Internet service,Telephony and other value-added services.
She says, "I never thought of this particular field.It was my husband’s idea since he had a degree in mass communication as well as engineering." Jagi believes taking ideas does not mean losing independence. It is how you bring the ideas to fruition is where your calibre is on test. She certainly has excelled because in just six years time, she has made her company a leading ISP provider and her private TV channel OTV, a premier media voice. On being asked how she would face challenges of the future, she says: "At the end of the day it is the quality of service you provide that matters. We have never compromised on quality and never will."
Jagi has a number of
future plans lined up, such as taking OTV from three cities at present
to nine cities by the end of the year, coming up with IP multicasting
and tying up with an application service provider etc. After a tie-up
with British Venture Capitals, Ortel Communication Ltd has emerged as a
totally independent unit without any link with IMFA.
IF her role model Kiran Bedi could break the glass ceiling for women entering into the police force, Meera Chadha Borwankar, 46, has an equally distinctive record to her credit. She took over as the first ever woman to be posted as Commissioner of Mumbai Crime Branch in its 150-year-long history.
It was in Jalandhar that she was groomed her for a career in the police force. Meera spent her formative years in the Jalandhar cantonment area, doing her schooling, graduation and postgraduation from there.
Then came the time for
moving on. She was selected as IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre in
1981, after which there was no looking back for this bright, smart but
down-to-earth girl. She has also served in State CID Crime branch, CBI
Mumbai and Delhi, and as DSP Aurangabad. Prestigious awards that came
her way include President’s Award (1997), the Police medal, Director
General's insignia for meritorious service and Hubert Humphrey
Fellowship (2001-2) in three decades of her policing career. — D.A.
Ready for taxing times
north-western region is all set to benefit from the rich and varied
experience of an Indian Revenue Service woman officer. The lady in
question is the highly competent Mrs Baljit Bains. She has taken over as
the new Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West region, at
Chandigarh. Mrs Bains is not new to the area. She has had many a chance
to not only gain professional expertise but also become familiar with
the problems peculiar to the people of Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh.
Of the 1969 batch, she is one of the seniormost Indian Revenue Service
women officers. Before taking up this assignment, Mrs Bains has served
as Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Haryana. She has also been Member,
Haryana State Electricity Board. — H.K.
Success for Sangina
A beauty pageant contestant may owe her success to a fairness cream, but can the same be said of an Olympic athlete? That’s what will happen if Sangina Vaidya, the first Nepalese athlete to participate in the Olympics officially, wins a medal in Athens next month.
Fair and Lovely, Indian corporate house Hindustan Lever’s fairness cream, is promoting Nepalese taekwondo diva Sangina, a two-time gold medallist at the South Asian Federation Games.
Along with five more corporate houses, Nepal Lever, the group’s joint venture in Nepal, is co-sponsoring the 29-year-old.
Together, the six corporate houses are providing 85 percent of Sangina’s expenses like visa fees, airfares, medical treatments, sports gear, a daily allowance and an endowment fund.
This is the first time that private companies in Nepal have chipped in to sponsor any contestant in an international sporting event.
But then Sangina is one of the best brand ambassadors in the country by virtue of being the first Nepalese to formally qualify for the Olympics.
Till now, Nepal’s participation in the prestigious games was confined to events like swimming, shooting and athletics, which allow wildcard participants.
Sangina, who grew up watching Bruce Lee movies and played football as well, began to concentrate on taekwondo when she realised there wasn’t enough time for both.
Four years ago, she had set her heart on participating in the 2000 Olympics.
The corporate support she
received this time enabled her to head for Korea to train for a month.
She leaves for Athens August 15. — IANS