RECENTLY, Victoria Derbyshire on BBC reported on the remarkable and moving story of a young girl, Chelsea Cameron.

Her travails arose principally due to her parents, both addicted to drugs, not taking care of her. That she has achieved more than most of her peers, despite all the difficulties she has faced over the years, is amazing.

Chelsea has matured well beyond her years. Rather than being an angry and bitter girl, she has become a cheerful person, with goodwill towards all and malice towards none. She remembers with gratitude and love all those who have cared for her. She does not even blame her parents for not ‘being there’ for her when she needed them.

Her story highlights the importance of proper nurture and upbringing of children, best provided by one’s natural and loving parents. Brought up with love and care, such youth are more likely to become responsible citizens. It also highlights the havoc that addiction to inappropriate substances wreaks on the individual, the family and, indeed, the society itself.

Hindus attach the greatest importance to parental care, which is considered a sacred duty they have towards children. Hindu faith also advises, explicitly and unequivocally, against use of addictive substances.

While celebrating how Chelsea has overcome her adversities, all of us must do everything to ensure that children receive the care and love they deserve, and to take all necessary steps to fight the menace of drug addiction.

Dr Girdhari Bhan

Hindu Worshipper