Tuesday, 9 December 2014

The choice between hunger and education.

Imagine if you were forced to make that choice every single day of the year. You'd consider the prospects with a lot of foresight and contemplation. You'd try and see the larger picture and the possibilities that good education shall be concomitant with. The very thought of having a secure and eidetic future shall make you make your resolute even more firm. Education it will be, hands down and you shall be already on your way and you're happy. And just when you had your plans in place, an excruciating and unnerving pain strikes its blows and you realize its your empty bowel which is signalling its emptiness again. You are brought back to reality and your dreams annihilated. Once again, even a dream of acquiring education couldn't withstand the pangs of hunger and you decide to employ your labor for the meager meal you get in return. And what was barely not enough for you, is now to be shared with others who still aren't capable of earning meals on their own. Just imagine that. Well, a substantial portion of Indian children are subjected to that ordeal every single day. 

We as a country are often full of conceit on the way classes are emerging in the nation and how we are making our mark. We talk about our corporations which are making inroads into the global markets. We talk about our top quality talent. We even go to the extent of terming ourselves as a potential superpower, and while we do all that, we turn a blind eye to the predicament of these children who haggle with their future every single day. So pestilent is their situation that they know they're taking the wrong call and yet they've no other option but to take it, In an age when they need to learn the alphabet and the numbers, they learn how to do laborious tasks like piling bricks on their heads and accompanying their families in their daily struggle for existence. Not only do they suffer by becoming just another addition to the ever expanding army of factotums who are assigned the most arduous and yet the most menial of jobs, they also miss out on the much needed nutrition requirements which they miss out on by miles. And before these children know that, a promising life has already turned into one full of lifelong struggle for basic necessities. 

What stupefies me is that despite this plight of millions, we continue to remain hopeful about our supremacy and even assert that from various platforms. Moreover, we are proud of our so called 'young' nation, even when the most important sect of that youth smolders and fades away into the murkiness of this struggle every single day. We celebrate the fact that we are the larges producers of so and so crops, and we hopelessly fail to provide a handful of grain to these children, thereby ensuring of their proper upbringing. By failing on those fronts, our youth is going to be no more than a ready army of slaves who are custom made to live the worst possible human life in the most insalubrious of surroundings. Maybe that precisely is what we are referring to when we lay claims on our potential by saying we've got ready labor. 

Imagine how different things would have been if instead of drowning in the gallows of such a life, each such child was endowed with the opportunity of experiencing the brighter side of life. Imagine how much change education could have brought. Instead of being exposed to the mawkishness of such a dark and gloomy life, they'd be exposed to the possibilities that await them. From batting hard to earn two meals a day, they'd very well be on the path to making it big for themselves and their nation. Disparity as we know it today, would begin to perish for even the lowest rung of all classes would know be aware of all the rights and honors that the constitution vests in them, and administration for the first time be implemented in a truer sense. 

Education alone can actually extirpate most of our problems today. Crime, which is the single mos catastrophic byproduct of disparity, shall be reduced to controllable levels. Even when one member of every such downtrodden family acquires the basic minimum education, he/she can quickly ensconce the basic set of morals in every member of the family, which for the first time wold get in touch with the good and better things in life. That will also encourage others to have an inhered craving for education and sooner than later, the entire society as a whole would develop a much greater yearning for adopting education as the route to happiness. 

However utopic it may seam, we always are equipped to make such a day come true and we always were. It's just that in absence of any viable modes to contribute, indifference begins to condescend. Truth is that there is a lot that can be done. For those who've time to spare, no better thing that to organize classes themselves or join such initiatives and to teach a few classes every month. One simply cannot have an idea how big a difference it can make unless someone has done that. A really important aspect is to point out fallacies and to do something about it every now and then. If you're taking up these classes and at the same time are comfortable drinking tea prepared by a 9 year old in a small roadside 'tapri', then we've got a problem. While calling the police and getting the owner of the 'tapri' arrested would do some good, it does no good to the future of that child who still has no other option but to join some other such occupation that pays the morsel to buy his next meal. You've got to bring an end to the child's long term misery, which can only be done if education replaces what he/she does today. Because then, and only then, could he genuinely enjoy the fruits of education and develop into a virtuous human being who is ready to bloom and succeed. 

For all the bloggers out there, your one single blog post can do just what's mentioned above. So please contribute as much as you can. 

I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.