The most fascinating feature of talent is that it is latent (a re-arranged spelling for the often untapped asset of individuals), thirsting to blossom under favourable conditions in society. Early discovery of one’s talent to make a mark in life gives one a head start over others. Old age can only be the time to recollect missed opportunities. One of America’s Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, has rightly observed that to make a success of life, one has got to start young. Needless to say that members of the family, particularly the parents, have the first opportunity and key role in unearthing the growing child’s talent, be it speaking clearly by learning at a fast pace, singing to delight the listeners, drawing, culinary interest, attiring with refined taste, gregarious behaviour, good habits in and out of bed, courteous conduct, desire to read and so on. The teacher at nursery and primary school level gets the next chance with the rider that the task of discovering talent in the kids gets more challenging given the diverse backgrounds of the target group. Talent turns to activity once the parents or teachers or those who keep company take care to nurture and cherish the gift with an open mind.
While all children are not born with their limbs and faculties free of defects, institutional guidance and help are nowadays available in the country to tap the talents of the specially-abled growing children, without belittling parental support. Even visually impaired and speech-denied children are known to have extraordinary abilities, such as music and other muses, excelling their normal counterparts.
Urban spaces and villages are differently placed in the matter of discovering talent in kids and building upon the finding. Urbanites, barring exceptions, are preoccupied with their dawn-to-dusk daily chores leaving inadequate time and energy for bestowing attention on their wards. In case of children born and growing in the villages, the issues of awareness about nurturing talent and facilities such as in cities are poorly addressed as of now. A great deal of ground remains to be covered in the country to reduce the chances of missing children with potential to rise to great heights in different fields of human activity. Scholars talk of 64 different vidyas in this context. That number has undoubtedly increased to provide more opportunities to talented youth to blossom. Salesmanship, oratory, humorous writings, fault location in electronic devices, sporting events, designing attires and so on are example that flash across one’s mind.
The point raised by an executive of a corporate last week before a Parliamentary Standing Committee that “Youth in India lack needed talent” needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Agreeing with that verdict mirrors a defeatist outlook. May be, the land’s youth are placed in “A square peg in round hole” situation.