GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

#GadgetFreeHour day is here. Scroll below for LIVE updates, celebrity video messages, tips, real life stories, parent experiences and more as we celebrate Children's Day in the most meaningful way.

By Team ParentCircle

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

10:00 p.m. - And a big thanks to all our viewers who have been with us all day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. And a big thanks to Team ParentCircle for putting together a show! As we wrap up a great night for parents, we bring you all the action from ‘Behind the Scenes’. Good night and have great moments of connection. Until we meet again! 

9:45 p.m. - And last but not the least, #GadgetFreeHour has been a visionary initiative of Nalina Ramalakshmi, Managing Director of ParentCircle. Here she is, obviously excited and touched by the response to this very important social awareness campaign. Hear her out!

9:30 p.m. - It’s been an amazing day with schools, corporates, hotels, organisations and people from different walks of life joining in for this first-of-its-kind initiative. We’ve put together a quick highlights package to help you relive the day in one minute.


GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

9:20 p.m. - Stories from parents on how they spent #GadgetFreeHour are pouring in! Read on!

9:10 p.m. - Parents and children seem to have made the best of the #GadgetFreeHour. Here are some wonderful images you have all sent.

Images of #GadgetFreeHour

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates
GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

The message is loud and clear. #GadgetFreeHour has made a grand beginning and it is definitely not a one-off day. It marks a new beginning. Joining us now on the phone is Anand, an entrepreneur and more importantly, a daddy from Chennai.

9:00 p.m. - Reactions are flooding the social media channels post the #GadgetFreeHour. Here are some responses we have handpicked post the #GadgetFreeHour:

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

8:50 p.m. - That was fun, wasn’t it? One of the other big highlights of the #GadgetFreeHour was the #GadgetFreeHour dinner. We have this beautiful photo sent in by one of the parents from a hotel in Chennai.

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

Our Correspondent, Subhechha Chatterjee joins us to give a quick update on how the #GadgetFreeHour dinner went by.

8:40 p.m. - Joining us now to share her experience of the #GadgetFreeHour are Rishaan Paes and Anaira Paes, children of Bangalore-based parents, Soumya Achrekar Paes and Loyson Paes. 

Let’s hear all about the #GadgetFreeHour experience from the parents who took the pledge! Great to hear your ‘joy of connection’ stories!

8:35 p.m. - If you are wondering how you can make #GadgetFreeHour a daily routine, here are some wise tips to help you do just that. These tips have been shared by renowned international experts exclusively for the readers of ParentCircle.

Just follow these simple tips

Tips to disconnect from gadgets

1. Schedule gadget-free time every day for you and your family

2. Set aside gadget-free zones in the house

3. Have gadget-free meals together at home or outside

4. When spending time with children, turn off your notifications and phones. Even better, hide them from sight

5. Turn off Wi-Fi at a fixed time, every night

We also have put together some good articles with simple activity ideas for you to rediscover the joy of connection. Check these out

8.30 p.m. - Welcome back. So, you disconnected to reconnect. How was the experience of the #GadgetFreeHour? Phenomenal? Rejuvenating? Reconnecting? Soul filling? Certainly, all of these. We congratulate all the parents out there who found purpose in this very important initiative. A few minutes every day is all it takes to build a lifetime of connections with your child. Go for it. And now, share your experience with us and the rest of the world. How did it feel to be away from gadgets and fully connect with your child? Write to us by clicking on this link and telling us how it felt to be away from the distraction of the gadgets. Your story of those 60 minutes.

See you at 8.30 pm

7:30 p.m. - It’s time for your #GadgetFreeHour and time for us to log off, with the promise that we will be back at 8.30 pm to hear your great stories about the joy of connection. As promised, ParentCircle is shutting down now and will be back at 8.30 pm to make sure you are enjoying every moment with your children.

7:25 p.m. - Last 5 minutes to go for the #GadgetFreeHour and for those who haven’t taken the pledge, here is your last chance to do so. Take the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or give a missed call to 7230019118.

7:20 p.m. - Last 10 minutes to go for the #GadgetFreeHour and also the #GadgetFreeHour Dinner. Hiltons, Hyatts and several other prominent chains have joined hands to be a part of this very special initiative. So, if you are anywhere near these partner restaurants, enjoy the special #GadgetFreeHour dinner now. But there are some rules. Check out what Aully Banerjee, Marketing & Communications Manager at Hilton, Chennai, has to say about this initiative.

Joining us now with just 10 minutes to go for the #GadgetFreeHour is our correspondent Subhechha Chatterjee.

7:15 p.m. - Last 15 minutes now and if you are wondering what the excitement about the #GadgetFreeHour is all about, here is a quick video to help you get a quick understanding of the initiative.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

7:10 p.m. - Vishy has just checkmated the gadgets with another of his trademark moves. Alright, inside the last 30 minutes and we are just told that most of our partner corporates have ensured their employees are back home before 7.30 pm to be with their families for the #GadgetFreeHour. Joining us now over the phone is Gayathri, one of our HR partners:

7:00 p.m. - Just the way Sanjeev often says, “Every dish is a statement that takes you on a journey that’s traditional and beyond.” How true! So, go ahead and cook up a story tonight with your child. Alternatively, you can give your brain some food as well if you plan to indulge in a game of chess – another great activity for family connections. On that note, we have the greatest Indian chess player of all time, Vishwanathan Anand. 

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and the VGP Marine Kingdom.

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner are Digital Empowerment Foundation of India.

6:50 p.m. - So, wasn’t that a great nostalgic trip? One of the activities you can certainly do at 7.30 pm is to involve your child in cooking. I can safely tell you, children are fun to have in the kitchen and make for a great connection opportunity. Just imagine the family ‘master chefs’ in action. Wow. A great recipe indeed for connection. We are now joined by the legendary Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who is now heading home to spend time with his children and urging you to do so as well. Check it out!

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

6:40 p.m. - The final countdown is here. Under an hour for the #GadgetFreeHour and ARE YOU READY? If you’ve still not taken the pledge, you can do so now at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or give a missed call to 7230019118. Wondering how to engage with your child between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm today? The expert panel at ParentCircle, which includes reputed names from the most respected child psychology and research organisations, has come up with the following suggestions for parents:

Tips to connect with children during #GadgetFreeHour

1. Eat together: Eat together as a family, chatting, sharing jokes and relishing the food.

2. Play together: Play cards, board games, carroms, hide and seek and more.

3. Walk together: Take a little stroll around your neighbourhood and just talk about everything under the sky!

4. Share together: Pull out old family albums or your child’s baby albums and look relive the memories.

5. ‘Act’ together: Cook, dance, sing, paint… Work as a team (family).

These apart, we have also come up with an interesting bit of childhood games we all miss today. Let your child know about these simple, fun activities and in the process, you can rediscover yourself. Check out our exclusive article to help you connect during the #GadgetFreeHour 

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

6:30 p.m. - Fantastic to see so many schools coming forward to support this initiative. #GadgetFreeHour, like we have been saying, has also caught the attention of several achievers, celebrities and experts from around the world. Nir Eyal, the author of Hooked: How to build habit-forming products is largely ‘credited’ with us getting hooked to gadgets. Interestingly, the great author has also come up with a book to help parents manage distractions. Eyal has these wonderful suggestions for parents coming in all the way from New York, during an exclusive interaction with ParentCircle.

6:25 p.m - The Tamil Nadu government, as well as the CBSE south wing, have supported this initiative big time. The reach has been phenomenal. To help us understand how this aspect has pushed the #GadgetFreeHour big time is our Schools and Colleges correspondent Rashmi Nagendran.

6:20 p.m. - Oh, yes, Sameera and Bhumika. Well said. We can do this for our children, and we should do this for them. This is the need of the hour. With nearly 1 lakh schools participating in #GadgetFreeHour campaign, change is bound to happen. Talking about the special day, several schools had some beautiful cultural activities for the tiny tots. Our correspondent Sindhu Sivalingam sends us this from Kalpavriksh Montessori Community School in Chennai. Have fun.

6:10 p.m. - Always exciting to see such involvement from parents and children. So, we can do this for our children, right? With just over an hour to go, check out a simple, yet meaningful messages from actors Sameera Reddy and Bhumika Chawla.

06:00 p.m. - Alright, Good evening, Vanakkam, Namaskar once again. The sun is about to set but it is also about to rise in many households for a bright, engaging evening. This is a historic day and we are super excited to be coming to you LIVE from the ParentCircle headquarters in Chennai as we celebrate Children’s Day 2019 with the world’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour. Who would have ever thought that the brainchild of ParentCircle, which got seeded only a month ago would go so viral in such a short time? #GadgetFreeHour is today the talk of the town and rightly so. If you are outside or at your workplace, pack up, beat the traffic and head back home soon. Your time with your children and without your gadgets for one full hour is waiting for you. Your children could not have got a better gift from you this Children’s Day. 

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

05:50 p.m. - A legend in her own right, Mithali played a massive role in uplifting women’s cricket in India. We thank you, Mithali for your wonderful contributions and your equally wonderful message for parents today. Alright, time to check on the social meter. We can safely tell you #GadgetFreeHour is trending big and rightly so. We are happy to share that some really big names in different spheres of life have been championing the cause on social media. Here’s a quick glimpse:

To talk more about the excitement in social media, I am now joined by Ritika Banerjee, our social media correspondent:

Telephonic chat with Ritika:

05:40 p.m. - Wow, did we take you on a nostalgic ride? Well, I vividly remember how one of the best games we used to play when we were kids was the game of book cricket. How exciting it was. Talking about India’s favourite game, we now have India’s favourite women’s cricketer, an iconic name, Mithali Raaj with a beautiful message. Mithali recorded this for us minutes after returning from a triumphant tour of the West Indies. She was tired, but her enthusiasm, as always, got the better of fatigue. Listen in to her message:

Mithali Raj:

05:30 p.m. - Just 2 hours to go for the #GadgetFreeHour and as we build up, here’s an interesting message coming in from one of our readers, Namitha from Pune. “It’s a great initiative, this GadgetFreeHour, but how do we keep our children engaged during that one hour?” asks Namitha. Interesting question, Namitha, but I must tell you engaging with children is not as difficult as you think it is. We have packaged 3 sets of special activity articles based on different age groups. Makes for a perfect read and what’s more! We have classified the same based on age groups to help you make the perfect choice.

Tweets, tweets and more tweets coming in!

05:20 p.m. - The atmosphere is evident in the way Siddiqha summed up. Staying with Chennai, one of the most popular RJs of the city just cannot stop talking about the #GadgetFreeHour. He is so touched by the awareness campaign that he is willing to go the extra distance to spread the word despite his hyper busy schedule. Let’s get straight to the super RJ Balaji. 

05:10 p.m. - All day we’ve had some amazing reactions coming in from different parts of India. Joining us now from Chennai where we have plenty of ‘hectivity’ today with events, schools, corporate and other organisations, is our correspondent Siddiqha Naseem:

#GadgetFreeHour is trending on Instagram!

05:00 p.m. - It’s 5 p.m. and Happy Children’s Day to all of you wherever you are. We are barely two hours away from the #GadgetFreeHour and the excitement is building up. From parents to teachers; film stars to sports personalities; musicians to magicians; employees to stay-at-home parents – all are eagerly waiting for the #GadgetFreeHour. In case you haven’t taken the pledge yet, here’s your chance to take it now.

By taking a simple pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com

You can go through the 5-step video to understand how you can be a part of this campaign. Parents can explore a list of exclusive activities, articles, interviews with global parenting Gurus, and play the activity wheel on www.gadgetfreehour.com.

Check out this Insta post that has just come in!

04:50 p.m. - Welcome back and if you thought we are taking you on a helicopter ride to the Amazon forests, well you can certainly feel good about it. But, Helicopter, Tiger, Dolphin… these are among the many parenting styles. Keen to know more about them? Check out our article written with expert inputs:

The second one (more obvious, wasn’t it?): relates to handling behavioural elements, especially in young children. One of the biggest behavioural challenges in recent times has been that of smartphone behaviour. Is your family’s smartphone behaviour healthy? Find out in this exclusive conversation with international bestselling author Dr. Tchiki Davis:

04:40 p.m. - Fun facts and trivia time

  • Smartphone addiction is called Nomophobia. It is a fear of not being with your phone.
  • Technophobia is the fear of technology
  • eBooks have outsold printed books on amazon
  • Martin Cooper invented the first cell phone in 1973

Trivia

I’ve got a few questions for you. Find out how well tuned you are when it comes to parenting:

  • Helicopter, Tiger, Dolphin…. What are we talking about?
  • Tantrums, meltdowns, time-ins and time-outs… what are we talking about?

You think you know the answers. Find out on the other side with answers.

04:30 p.m. - HPCL has tweeted on #GadgetFreeHour. Check it out:

Under 3 hours to go now for the #GadgetFreeHour, a social awareness campaign by ParentCircle, the buzzword in town today. With parents flocking to take the pledge, the message is loud and clear – Disconnect from gadgets and reconnect with children.

Nothing has reshaped our communication, our relationships, and our lives more than technology and devices in the 21st century.

Born to celebrate the beautiful natural bond between parents and children, #GadgetFreeHour will be celebrated for an hour this evening to celebrate Children’s Day between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm. During this period, families will disconnect from their gadgets and use that time to spend with their children – playing, eating, talking and laughing together.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or by giving a missed call to 7230019118.

04:20 p.m. - Joining us now from Bangalore is our correspondent Vasuki, who has got this wonderful video from the Vedic Lore Preschool by Moms, who too, like so many others in India, are eagerly looking forward to the #GadgetFreeHour.

04:10 pm - Just what the doctor ordered if you are a parent looking for ways to handle your child’s gadget habits. Talking about doctors, the real ones, we are excited to state that some big names have joined in for the #GadgetFreeHour campaign. Noted Padma Shri award winner, Dr Kamini Rao and Digestive health expert, Dr Muffazal Lakdawala share their messages for the #GadgetFreeHour. Listen in:

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and VGP Marine Kingdom.

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner is Digital Empowerment Foundation of India.

04:00 p.m.– Teatime and with it some biscuits. Your child’s back from school and the rest of the evening is going to be all about conversations and connections. If you are looking for ways to keep your child off gadgets, you are about to read 21 tips that can change your life forever:

03:40 p.m. – What’s also been phenomenal has been the response of the corporate world and other organisations working to improve the quality of life. I remember one beautiful line as I say this. ‘Employees are assets no doubt, but they are bigger assets at home’. Incredible respect for human resources. #GadgetFreeHour is privileged to see heightened participation from leading organisations. We now present some exceptional reactions from four such organisations who have pledged to make this a better world indeed.
Equitas:

Bylanes of Bengaluru:

Yuvathi:

Kreeda: 

03:30 p.m.–Just four hours to go for history to unfold – the world’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour. It’s a special moment for Nalina Ramalakshmi, Founder and Managing Director, ParentCircle. Nalina has always strived to bring together parents on important issues related to parenting and today, given the response, she is filled with HOPE. Says Nalina, “I am very excited to note the heightened interest and participation for the #GadgetFreeHour. It is extremely important that we realise ‘real connections’ need a reboot in today’s gadget-driven world. To build a strong connection, parents need to spend time with their children on a regular basis, even if it is for a few minutes every day, free from the distraction of gadgets and other work. This #GadgetFreeHour campaign is a social awareness campaign for change. We hope this will motivate parents to make gadget-free time a part of their daily or weekly routine and experience the joy of connection.”

Nalina’s thoughts struck a chord with the listeners of Hello FM 106.4, one of Chennai’s most popular FM radio stations during an interaction earlier this morning. Listen in:

Press Conference:

03:20 p.m. – It’s incredible, isn’t it, to see that kind of love for traditional arts and crafts. All children are natural artists and gadgets are not necessarily natural for them. While gadgets are highly beneficial considering they could define the way our children live as they grow up, balance holds the key. Gadgets cannot replace the joy of natural connections. Gadgets need to enable our lives and not drive them. How can one go about balancing family time and screen time? Read this article written by an expert who has researched extensively on the subject.

03:10 p.m. – Alright, Siddiqha, our correspondent has a well-known television personality joining us with a stunning pledge. Listen in:

That was in typical VJ Archana style. Keeping up with the artistic flavour, we head straight to Hyderabad and talk to veena artist, Veena Srivani. The ace artist, who left the world stunned with her ‘breathless’ performance is all set to leave you speechless with her thoughts. Here we go:

03:00 p.m. – Talking about changemakers, India will eternally be thankful to one person who has done her bit to cater to the hungry in the most innovative fashion. Even as the world was busy celebrating the Ice Bucket Challenge, noted journalist, Manju Latha Kalanidhi invented the Rice Bucket Challenge and the impact it is having can never ever be described in words. Manju is also a mommy to a teenager and absolutely loves her parenting. Here’s her #GadgetFreeHour message to all the parents out there:

02:50 p.m. –The #GadgetFreeHour campaign is already going VIRAL. 58000+ schools, a host of corporate giants, endorsements by popular celebrities, achievers and bestselling authors, support by the biggest hotel brands including Hyatt and Hilton, and yes, close to a MILLION parents are eager to be a part of the maiden Children’s Day special initiative of ParentCircle. #GadgetFreeHour is not just an event, it is the beginning of a movement. Here’s a snapshot of the campaign’s coverage in the press:

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

02:40 p.m.– What’s been the most remarkable feature about #GadgetFreeHour is the way it has brought together people from all walks of life – Celebrities to experts; schools to corporates; NGOs to governments. Changemakers all the way. Joining us from Hyderabad now is a celebrated TV show host, Lakshmi Manchu. Here’s her message for all the parents out there:

02:30 p.m. – Welcome back. Joining us now from Chennai is our correspondent Siddiqha who has an iconic name alongside her. Renowned entrepreneur from the south, Mr. C.K. Ranganathan. Let’s listen in:

02:20 p.m. – India is bubbling with excitement. Just the way this ‘super family’ is doing…

I have a question. Have you taken the pledge yet? Here’s your chance to do so. This is all you need to do to be a part of this glorious campaign:

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or give a missed call to 7230019118.

02:10 p.m. – Wasn’t that absolutely wonderful and heart-warming? The Tamil Nadu government and the CBSE have both stepped forward to support this campaign in a big way. We are extremely grateful to them for getting so many schools in South India on board #GadgetFreeHour.

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates
GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

2:00 p.m. – Under 6 hours to go for the World’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour and ARE YOU READY? A change is about to happen. This campaign will soon become a movement, a much-needed awareness drive. Schools are not just celebrating Children's Day today, but also the #GadgetFreeHour day. You just need to see what’s happening at the famous BVM School and Montfort School in Chennai to figure out what we mean here.

BVM School:

MontFort School:

Take a look at all the schools taking our #GadgetFreeHour pledge!

01:50 p.m.– Now, that was fun and in fact, can be handy for you later this evening as one of the activities you and your family can indulge in during the #GadgetFreeHour. Well, mine is certainly going to be Hide and Seek. We have a user with ‘twin trouble and all bubble’. Wondering what we are talking about? Check out this hilarious video sent by Gayathri, a working mom with ‘twin’ trouble at home, but when there is ‘Luv’ and ‘Kush’ (names of Gayathri’s twins), life does look beautiful.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and VGP Marine Kingdom. 

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner is Digital Empowerment Foundation of India. 

1.40 p.m.– Alright folks, time for some fun facts about Children’s Day.

  • Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20.
  • India used to celebrate Children’s Day on November 20 till the death of Chacha Nehru in 1964. Following this, Children’s Day began to be celebrated on November 14.
  • Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was lovingly called as ‘Chacha’ Nehru owing to his love for children.
  • Another reason was that he was considered a younger brother (Chacha in Hindi) to our Bapu, Mahatma Gandhi.

This has just come in! Twitterati is abuzz!

1:30 p.m.– We often use the term ‘food for thought’. That was some serious food for thought from Pooja Makhija. And it’s not just about food habits. Sleep has also become a major victim of gadget invasion in our lives. So, what actually happens and what can parents do to regulate gadget usage? That’s going to be the discussion point in parts 2 and 3 of our panel discussion, featuring eminent names. Check it out.

Part 2:

Part 3:

1:20 p.m. – Staying on the subject, joining us now from Mumbai is eminent nutritionist, Pooja Makhija, who has an amazing message for all parents out there while also wishing children a Happy Children’s Day!

1:10 p.m. – Good afternoon, Vanakkam, Namaskar again. In case you missed the earlier part of this Live coverage, you can always scroll down to capture the action so far today. This is a historic day and we are super excited to be coming to you LIVE from the ParentCircle headquarters in Chennai as we celebrate Children’s Day 2019 with the world’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour. It’s about time for lunch and talking about lunch, the new menace in the world today is ‘screen time while eating’. Screens have become babysitters and many parents are often guilty of using screens to ‘enable’ their children to eat. Now, that’s a strict NO. Ever wondered what’s going on in a child’s mind while watching and eating simultaneously? Check out our article that talks extensively about screen time and eating.

1 p.m. –Talking about storytelling, one of the finest storytellers in and around Chennai, ‘Ghilli amma’, our very own Janaki Sabesh loves the ‘story’ behind #GadgetFreeHour and is urging parents to ‘disconnect to reconnect’. Listen in. 

12:50 p.m. - From storytelling to pebble painting, from simply laughing to walking the talk, you can do that much and more during those precious 60 minutes. So, what’s your idea of #GadgetFreeHour 

Here are a few interesting ‘ideas’ 

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and VGP Marine Kingdom.

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner is Digital Empowerment Foundation of India. 

12:40 p.m. - Remember your own childhood? We were never short of ideas, were we? There was so much to do and there’s absolutely no reason why we cannot revive those childhood memories. Do not allow gadgets to distract your connection with your child. Just in case your grey cells are struggling to recall what you were doing when you were young, here’s our ‘help guide’. 

Read: Childhood Games We Once Played

12:30 p.m. - Wondering what you can do with your children during the #GadgetFreeHour? With ParentCircle, you will never run out of ideas. Here are, in fact, 60 things you can do during those 60 glorious minutes and you will certainly say ‘Yeh dil maange more’. 

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

Well, our message is ‘keep it simple’. The expert panel at ParentCircle, which includes reputed names from the most respected child psychology and research organisations, has come up with the following suggestions for parents:

Tips to connect with children during #GadgetFreeHour

  1. Eat together: Eat together as a family, chatting, sharing jokes and relishing the food.
  2. Play Together: Play cards, board games, carrom, hide and seek and more.
  3. Walk together: Take a little stroll around your neighbourhood and just talk about everything under the sky!
  4. Share together: Pull out old family albums or your child’s baby albums and look relive the memories.
  5. ‘Act’ together: Cook, dance, sing, paint…Work as a team (family).

12:20 p.m. - Some very interesting thoughts from the off-spinner. Well, he is back home after a busy season, and we are pretty much sure he is enjoying every bit of his time with his two beautiful children. It’s all about connections, isn’t it? Staying on that subject, we now present to you the first part of our panel discussion featuring eminent personalities as they talk about the need for gadget-free hours in households.

The second part of the discussion will be presented to you at 1.30 pm in the same blog. You can also visit our YouTube channel to view this and a whole lot more.

12:10 p.m. - Time for an exclusive interview. Well, joining us on the phone line is Mr. Perfectionist in the game of cricket, a bowler who has mesmerised many a batsman with the carrom ball. Star cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin joins us now.

12:00 p.m. - It’s mid-day and the excitement is palpable. Happy Children’s Day once again and let’s make this a very special Children’s Day by actively participating in ParentCircle #GadgetFreeHour initiative. If you haven’t taken the pledge yet, here’s your chance.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and VGP Marine Kingdom.

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner is Digital Empowerment Foundation of India. 

11:50 a.m. - What’s more. These renowned authors have extended good wishes to all parents and to the campaign itself.

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

11:40 a.m. - #GadgetFreeHour has become a truly global movement. The most sought-after Parenting Gurus and award-winning authors - Nir Eyal, Tanya Goodin, Dr Victoria Dunckley and Dr Sharon Saline - have come up with tips for parents to regulate gadget usage in households. Talking Exclusively to ParentCircle as part of the world’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour initiative, these experts also explain why screen time needs to be regulated (and not banned) to help stitch a healthy parent-child relationship. You can read them all here:

Nir Eyal

Are you ‘indistractable’?

Tanya Goodin

Do you use your phone 52 times a day?

Dr Victoria Dunckley

Screen-time and Children: Does your child put down his gadget without tears?

Dr Sharon Saline

Social Media can hurt our children’s mental health

11:30 a.m. - Social media hasn’t been far behind either. Parents are busy spreading the word on the need for screen-free time with their kids and #GadgetFreeHour couldn’t have come at a better time.

In case you haven’t tweeted yet, do it now to #GadgetFreeHour.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

11:20 a.m. - Wasn’t that an eye-opener? So, stop just guiding and start connecting. #GadgetFreeHour provides you the perfect opportunity to rediscover the joy of connecting. Well, just a few hours for the #GadgetFreeHour and like we already mentioned, it clearly is the talk of the town. We are thankful to the press for the extensive coverage and doing their bit to spread the word around. Here’s what some of the media coverage looks like 

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

For the complete list of media coverage check this link.

11:10 a.m. - Thank you Sameera and Bhumika for your meaningful messages. We’re sure your words are ringing loud and clear. Ever wondered what a parent-child relationship is all about? 

In an India first exclusive interview given to Nalina Ramalakshmi, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ParentCircle, Dr Laura Markham, the world’s most respected parenting Guru and author of the bestseller Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, explains why parenting is about 80% connection and only 20% guidance. Read (and watch).

11:00 a.m. - The clock ticks past the 11 am mark and once again, a Happy Children’s Day to all. We have a celebrity ‘connection’ now. Well-known actors Sameera Reddy and Bhumika Chawla have important messages for parents ahead of the #GadgetFreeHour. Check it out.

Sameera Reddy

Bhumika Chawla


10:50 a.m. - Joining us now to share the excitement is the Director of School Education, Tamil Nadu Government, Dr. S. Kannappan. “#GadgetFreeHour is a very good initiative that will help build healthy parent-child relationships in our society, which is much needed today. Spending time with children will create an atmosphere of love and affection, which will help children grow and build lifelong relationships with their parents. I urge parents to use this hour to begin meaningful connections with their children.”

ParentCircle is grateful to the Tamil Nadu government for instructing schools, parents and children from all over the state to actively participate in the #GadgetFreeHour campaign.

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

Take the #GadgetFreeHour pledge here.

10:40 a.m. - We have a quick update from our reporter in Pune. Hyatt Pune, one of the restaurant partners has begun preparations for the ParentCircle #GadgetFreeHour dinner initiative. Between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm tonight, the hotel will surprise families by offering a discount. Well, only if they have dinner at their restaurant ‘without gadgets’. Isn’t that beautiful? Thank you, Hyatt, Pune for being a part of this movement. It’s not just Hyatt, but Hilton to Le Royal Meridien, the cream of India’s hospitality industry is excited to be a part of this campaign. 

10:30 a.m. - Hello FM 106.4, the proud radio partner of the #GadgetFreeHour campaign has been abuzz since morning with the RJs actively spreading the message around. 

10:20 a.m. - Schools, corporates, hotels, households…all buzzing with excitement in anticipation and it is always a great sight to see such anticipation. If you are watching this LIVE blog, we request you to actively spread the word so more families can join the movement and take the pledge. Together, we can make a big difference to children and families across India, creating awareness about the importance of ‘connecting by disconnecting’.

GadgetFreeHour: Live Updates

10:10 a.m. -  Less than 10 hours to go for the #GadgetFreeHour and we must ask you loud and clear – ARE YOU READY? It does look like the whole of India is waiting with bated breath for this very moment. A change is about to happen. So, if you haven’t taken the pledge yet, here’s your chance. This is what you need to do.

You can show your support for the campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, or giving a missed call to 7230019118.

#GadgetFreeHour initiative has been powered by The Ramco Cements Ltd. and Murugappa Group. We are being supported by Apollo Shine Foundation, Little Elly and VGP Marine Kingdom. 

Our Media partners are Puthiya Thalaimurai and Hello FM and our Outreach partner is Digital Empowerment Foundation of India. 

10:00 a.m. - Good morning, Vanakkam, Namaskar. This is a historic day and we are super excited to be coming to you LIVE from the ParentCircle headquarters in Chennai as we celebrate Children’s Day 2019 with the world’s first-ever #GadgetFreeHour. Who would have ever thought that the brainchild of ParentCircle, which got seeded only a month ago, would go so viral in such a short time? #GadgetFreeHour is today the talk of the town and rightly so.

Over the next 9 hours, we will bring the whole of India together with the singular agenda of going gadget-free between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm today. ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’ will be our mantra through the day. We will bring you reactions from some of the 59,000+ schools pledging to take part in the #GadgetFreeHour campaign; corporate giants who are all set to respect their real ‘assets’; hotels all set to discourage families from using gadgets during dinner (and paying them to do so); celebrities and experts urging you to disconnect; and yes, our reporters from multiple locations giving us a feel of the grand initiative. 

So, stay tuned! ParentCircle wishes all the tiny tots a very cheerful Children’s Day! With #GadgetFreeHour just a few hours away, we at ParentCircle are here to keep you engaged with fun updates throughout the day. 

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