“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela
India is a country which is further divided into sub countries. I say Countries and not States because the ethos and cultures are so different in every state that you can hardly believe that you are in the same country once you move from one part of the country to the other.
I live in New Delhi which is the Northern part of the country and help a charity in Kerala which is the tip of India, well, almost. My daily encounters include people from all walks of life including the laundry man’s children. The laundry men in New Delhi are generally poverty-stricken and illiterate. The laundry man in my society has 6 children and no has limited means to feed them.
I was talking to his elder daughter one day who is in the 12th grade and asked her about her future plans. She smiled and asked me instead, “What future?”, I said, “Your future, what are you going to do after you pass out from the 12th grade? College? Job? What will you do?”. She smiled again and told me that that’s it for her. She wont be studying any further. This is all her mother will allow her to do. She added that whenever she sits down to study, her mother forces her to work and complete house hold chores, passing these exams is a big deal for her.
Zoom out of that scene. I am now walking on dusty paths of Kerala in a village to visit a beneficiary family’s house for my charity. The house is clean and the mother is a widow. Sh serves as a domestic servant in the nearby houses and feeds her three children, two daughters and one son. As we started talking to her she tells us that her daughter is in her second year of Under Graduate program in Pharmacy. On asking how she is paying for her fees, she tells us that she kept the little gold jewelry she had as mortgage to pay for the college tuition fees. She adds that she understands the importance of education and she wants her younger son and daughter to get educated too and escape this circle of poverty. By the way, her son wants to be a Computer Science Engineer.
My mind was whirling with these contrasting characters. Two mothers, both love their children and still this huge gap of awareness and knowledge about what is right and what is wrong for their children. First and foremost, I give credit to the nonprofit as with their resolute efforts and countless counselling sessions they are able to bring about this drastic change.But it’s always on us as to what we do with our lives. We always get help in some form or the other. But what we do with the help is always on us.
While this woman lives in a small village, the laundry man’s wife lives in the capital of India, doesn’t it account for anything? Any sort of awareness? So I always give credit to the person who changes her/his life and her/his family’s life.
In all these events one thing which is clichéd for centuries and is true, came out in solid in front of me and it was the importance of Education.There is one answer to all the miseries related to poverty and that is Education. Education was and is a Game Changer for the society and at least for the society of India. We are still living deep in superstitions and Education can end that. We still have a long way to go and we can inspire people to change their centuries old beliefs. There is lack of motivation and awareness. I take responsibility for that as I am not doing enough to change the psychology.
We need inspiration and with the kind of youth India has, it wont be difficult. Nothing is easy and it is difficult to solve a problem when we are clueless of its solution. We know the answer here so we have a path. It wont be as tough this time. Not just India, but any country can only move forward when the part of population which is struggling to make ends meet gets educated. Education not only brings bread but also opens up locked doors in minds. It makes a person think logically for not only self but also for the family. It’s almost like Magic.
“When you know better you do better.”
― Maya Angelou
What do you think?