This month we would like to ask all our readers who are doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and scientists whether you know of any studies on the effects of women giving birth at a young age. We are seeking any knowledge on how this affects the child, that is, what differences occur in a child's life if it is born to a 15-year-old mother or a 30-year-old mother. Does being born to a young mother influence a child's character, psychological behavior, stability, longevity, health, emotional security, independence, humor and joviality, ability to be successful and motivate business enterprises or to sustain the family fortune? Is a child born to young people, those just beyond puberty, any stronger or more vibrant than others? Less?

I am talking about the children that are born, mainly the first child, from boys and girls who are in the trauma of their puberty years, juxtaposed with children who are born from parents in their mid-twenties and early thirties, juxtaposed to children born of parents in their late thirties and early forties. Which of the three groups is most secure, most productive? Have any of our readers done any studies whatsoever on this area? If so, HINDUISM TODAY would like to publish their research.

It wasn't too long ago, and among Hindus it's still happening today, that the majority of children were married at ten or twelve years old. In those days young mothers and fathers really grew up with their own children. The question is whether there is something to be said for this tradition for a stable society? Or was it only this way because the average life expectancy back then was in the mid-thirties? Now that humans are all living longer, have the rules changed? We are really hoping that some person, some group, will come forward and help us to answer the questions that come to us every month about these matters. For a sustainable society, you must have sustainable humans.

On another subject, six months from now we are giving the Hindu renaissance award to some great Hindu who has made a difference during 1991. Six donors have given to the endowment HINDUISM TODAY has established. There is now $2,400 in the endowment, which has been put into government bonds to yield $192 annually. We feel that such recognition is necessary to encourage those who give their lives to the Sanatana Dharma, and naturally we hope that more generous donations and bequests come in to make this endowment bigger than the Pulitzer Prize, which gives about $270,000 to each category. Right now we give a meager $1000 a year to one person.

Also, we are now receiving nominations for the Hindus who have made a difference in the world. Send your choice directly to me at Publisher's Desk, 1819 Second Street, Concord, CA 94519. Include a brief biography of the person and a description of the accomplishments which in your judgment merit the Hindu of the Year Renaissance Award. There are many leaders doing good work in the world, and we want to know about each and every one.

We highly recommend that our readers visit this summer's grand Cultural Festival of India organized by the Swaminarayan Fellowship of H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A million visitors are expected for the July 12 to August 11 event. The site is Middlesex County College, Edison, New Jersey, 30 miles south of New York City on the New Jersey Turnpike, exit 10. Call (908) 572-1234.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.