Chennai: Over 50 million Indians will observe a gadget-free hour on Saturday (November 20) between 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The initiative is launched so that families can spend some time away from the technology and spend time with their families.

Private schools and educational institutions, corporates, NGOs, cine stars, sportspersons, and scores of parents have also pledged to take part in this initiative.

This is going to be the third iteration of the #GadgetFreeHour initiative that began in 2019. To make the idea successful, governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have urged parents and their wards to take a break from their hectic online schedules and spend that one hour with their families.

“The ongoing pandemic has had us turn to technology like never before and boundaries between the use of gadgets for recreation, education, distraction, and communication have blurred significantly. Honouring a Gadget Free Hour by every person and every family, on a regular basis, becomes crucial for us to engage with life more completely and not through the filters of technology” said Clinical Psychologist Dr Nithya Poornima.

According to Parent Circle, a parenting magazine, which is behind this tech-free initiative, the one-hour gadget-free time is an opportunity for families to disconnect from their screens and spend time with their children – playing, talking, eating and laughing together, while rediscovering the pleasure of each other’s company.

Nalina Ramalakshmi, Founder & MD, ParentCircle, says, “All of us parents are so busy either working or taking care of the needs of our family. How often do we pause and take a break to just relax, be silly and playful, and have fun with our children and loved ones? Research clearly shows that it is such playful moments that strengthen our relationship with our children and help create lasting memories for all of us. So, we at ParentCircle launched #GadgetFreeHour to encourage families to spend playful, fun moments together and experience the joy of connection.”

The 2020 iteration of this family-connect initiative witnessed participation from over a million parents and more than 41,000 schools. This time, too, the movement is gaining momentum. Parents can support this campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com and spreading the joy of connection.

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