Want your child to be a super kid? Get him midbrain-activated.
That's what the latest child development programme in town is advising parents. At least 20 centres of the 'midbrain activation programme' have already come up across the country, with six in Mumbai.
What it promises is magic. "A midbrain-activated kid can tell the colour of your shirt, read messages in your mobile and even cycle -- all blindfolded," claims Shubhada Bhave (27), who has already trained 45 kids across Mumbai.
However, to some – with eyes wide open -- like child psychiatrist Dr Milan Balakrishnan, the idea doesn't sound fascinating at all. "It's crap," he says bluntly.
Midbrain activation experts claim they can enhance imagination power, intuition and super intelligence among children in the age bracket of 5-15 years in a few sessions.
India First Foundation, Karjat, is one school planning to take a shy at this 'wonderdrug'. It's organising a midbrain activation workshop on August 16 and 17 at Ghatkopar with a company called Adsum Mentis, owned by Yogesh Shetty.
Principal Nitin Padte got convinced after one of his students, "Aryan Shetty, started doing well in his studies and developed an interest in music after attending the workshop."
It's only a coincidence that Aryan happens to be Yogesh's son.
The programme costs between Rs15,000 and 25,000 and it's usually a two-day workshop. It's embedded with brain gyms and special sound therapy, followed by a few sessions. After this, a child is declared "successfully activated".
"The activation would remain life-long, though kids need to do some brain exercises daily," said a parent, who now hopes that her 9th grader would not only excel in SSC exams but also qualify for pre-medical test.
When asked if she would discontinue her daughter's coaching classes after the midbrain-activation, she was silent.
Midbrain-activation experts say the trick lies in the equal use of right and left sides of the brain. "The human brain functions optimally if its left and right hemispheres are in equilibrium."
Ameet Parekh, founder of Brain Bard Edu, which has seven centres across India. including four in Mumbai, explains further: "We divide brain activities into five phases: Gama (ideas, language and memory processing, and learning), Beta (alert, busy, active), Alpha (relaxation, intuition/genius condition/brain optimum), Theta (deep meditation) and Delta (sleep).
Dr Milan Balakrishnan is again not impressed. "While helping kids to use both sides of the brain is fine, there are no scientific studies to prove that one can create geniuses or enhance imagination and intuition through such methods."
There are no short or long-term impact study available, though centres claim much better performance from the attendees, post sessions. Also, they have no licence or certification from any health or educational agency, they are catching up. Parekh himself plans to open 100 franchisees in 12-18 months.
"We don't need any licence. I have a certification from a global firm. I would not like to name them as they have no stake in our business model," says Parekh.
Trainer Bhave claims she got a certification from a Vasald (Gujarat) group.