Media and Children & Teens of Rural Poor Families in India

Globalization is a driving force in making goods and services previously out of reach in developing countries like India. It causes the global cultural bound syndrome among people regardless of their social and economic background. A class named “consumer class” emerges in our society with changing lifestyle and life choices. . The advertisement and entertainment industries (print, electronic/tele-media in different forms) play the key role of forming a consumer’s self-identity. The problem with consumerism is that it makes the pursuit of happiness more difficult. The goal of consumerism is to keep the consumer wanting to purchase more goods. Nowadays, consumption is a way of life.

India’s 73% of the population live in rural areas. Altogether about 29.5% populations live in the bottom of the pyramid(according to the report of NITI Ayog formerly known as Planning Commission of India).  But they are being experienced with consumerism, which is even beyond their economic ability. Children and teens are potentially influenced by advertisement (media) and it could be observed in their daily food practices and others’ life choices. Their demand does not match with their parental capacity. Many times, children and teens of poor families earn to consume for their own when their families are unable to provide. 

A comparative study was conducted to explore the impact of food practices among children and teens of poor families of India. For this purpose, 50 children and teen of 6-16 years of age were randomly selected from a remote village and another 50 informants of same background from semi-urban area of Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal were selected. Data explored that these children (87%) physically suffered from cold, fever, bruise, ache, and pain. Specifically, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, allergy, asthma, calcium deficiency, and cancer, etc. were rising up. Secondly, attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Learning Disabilities among them were increasing.  It happens to be affected their family health and happiness, 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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