Mumbai: Children’s TV reality shows have often faced the wrath for erratic shoot timings, stretched working hours and judges harshness. But the judges of Zee TV’s “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs” believe with “sugar coated criticism” and “love over anger”, they can avoid hurting the sentiments of children on the show.
“One has to understand that these are gifted kids and when they come to a platform like this show, they should know they have to work hard. These platforms are grooming grounds for children, and to make them tough, we need to tell them the right and wrong,” said singer Alka Yagnik, who has been named the ‘mahaguru’ (mentor) of the show.
“But it is very important for us to be careful in the way we handle kids…what they need is sugar-coated criticism, not harsh words,” she added.
The ministry of information and broadcasting has often raised concerns over the inclusion of kids under 16 years of age in TV reality shows. However, no strict action has been implemented as yet. The concerns had reached an all-time high in 2008 when 16-year-old Kolkata girl Shinjini Sengupta suffered a paralytic attack after being scolded by a judge during a reality dance competition.
Yagnik, who used to judge the previous seasons of “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs” along with singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya, also blames parents for over-stressing their children.
“As judges and experienced professionals from the industry, we try and encourage young talent as far as we can. But the stress comes from their parents. They should not discourage children if they don’t win. Instead they should just let them learn, and let them fight because the grooming and guidance they can get from these platforms is unmatched.
“Parents should stop making it a ‘do or die’ situation for their kids. They should consider it as good exposure,” she said.
Singer-composer Adnan Sami, who is among one of the three judges in the show, believes “what you can teach kids with love, can never be taught with anger”.
Versatile artiste Kailash Kher, who is also on the judges’ panel along with “Jashn-e-bahaara” crooner Javed Ali, feels it is of utmost importance that the purpose of coming to these reality shows is clear to the children.
“Children shouldn’t strive to be famous. They should first try to be good humans, and if they have talent, they should strive to become good artistes. That’s all.”