An Indian Insight
On the eve of the forgotten or rather not enthusiastically discussed International Literacy Day (celebrated on September 8), I thought of discussing this widely known social problem here with Indian context.
We have been largely talking of Independence today but are we really independent? We are completely aware of those sections of society that fight for the basic necessities of life but have shrug cold shoulder to it owing to too much talks about it. The same goes with illiteracy which has seen ignorance from every section of society helping it to strengthen its roots. Infact most of our commercial dailies and prominent channels lost the lust to discuss even one good or bad news about it.
Seeking the right kind of education starts right from home when parents think that it is the right time for their children to get preliminary education. But what happens later is widely known. Selecting the right school and for most of the rural India selecting the cheap school is the primary concern. Indeed there is a policy of government of free education till class five for all but this policy needs to be extended in all educational institutions so that money is not a major concern when it comes to primary education. Besides education should be made compulsory till class ten be it a girl or a boy. A regular check by the government authority can be made to find out if every child is getting education.
Moreover the quality of education needs to be improved a lot with teachers who are actually capable of carrying out their job. There is a need to eliminate arrogance from persons administering or teaching in these institutions that turn violent for petty issues like not doing homework or bring them to some disgrace. Besides, when it comes to higher education, it should solely be on the verge of being selected through the honest merit without the heck of going through reservations. It should be given to all the deserving candidates.
The other major cause of illiteracy is the lack of awareness. There are people who have no will to teach their children, especially girls. It mostly happens within the extreme rural areas where she is considered as liability rather than as asset. An uneducated mother won’t be able to give a better future to her children and we are quite aware of it.
Money problems bring with it the inability to choose between right and wrong. When a person is genuinely in need of money as of serious financial problem, the obvious thing in their mind is to train their kids in jobs which is most of the time hazardous to their life. Illiteracy is a disease which needs a widespread campaign like polio and the vaccine (education) needs to be injected at the right time so that they are not fooled by the world. But this vaccine needs to be within the reach of all sections of the society. A person who is literate faces less difficulty and is more aware citizen as compared to an illiterate one.
Illiteracy is an evil in the society and there is no point of celebrating independence of our country if we are unable to curb it. We need independence from this social evil. It will definitely help in curbing other social evils in India like child marriage, female foeticide, infant mortality etc. The issue needs an equal eye from government, NGOs, individuals and volunteers to give it a good fight.
India is a country of diversity. We boast of 13 recognised languages on our currency and there are approx 10 more languages on the way of being recognised. We have people practicing different religions and still living one, the traditional and cultural background is so beautiful that it can be seen on every step. But when the same diversity is seen on economic grounds with the economically sound people keeping a track on filling their pockets and the others who live in the biggest slums like Dharavi (Mumbai) and others struggling for a single meal in a day, I think we should do some good to atleast fill this over widening gap.
India has a pathetic 61% literacy rate which means still 39% of the Indian population does not know how to read and write. We, the educated masses and the lucky lot, owe a lot to this country and we can repay her if we make up our minds to teach such people in our neighbours. Going by the ‘Each One, Teach One’ campaign will not only make us happy but will also give us an immense satisfaction which we hardly get in our boring jobs.