Education- A Game Changer

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“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.

Tanushree's Photography

Tanushree’s Photography

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.

Tanushree's Photography

Tanushree’s Photography

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. old_notebook-wallpaper-960x540

“When you know better you do better.”
― Maya Angelou

What do you think?

A Predestine Episode

imagesShe seemed incapable of achieving something like that. Small, timid and barely managing with what she had in her hand, Anita fumbled with the paperwork. The long form was like a nightmare to her, inquiring about her past records, her family and each and every detail of her life. She was putting up with it because she got the best job in the world. Her parents always told her to go for a conventional Government job because  it had security and though she never really agreed with them, here she was, filling out a form for a Government job. Given the loan her parents took for their new apartment, this job was very crucial for Anita.

The ride back home was filled with excitement for her. Anita decided against using the telephone to inform her parents. She purchased some sweets from the nearby bakery and jumped two steps at a time to reach her new apartment on the second floor. She hit the button of the bell and her mother answered it instantly as if waiting near the door for her daughter. Pushing a sweet into her mother’s mouth, she announced, “Guess who is heading the department of English in LSRC, a week from now?” Her beaming parents hugged her and cried. They were ecstatic.

Those 7 days seemed like 7 years to Anita who couldn’t stop thinking of her new job, her new stature as the head of the department and also the kind of financial security her family now had given their endless struggle was nothing short of a victory.

photograph clicked by TanushreeThe anticipated day arrived, a crisp cotton salwar kameez was adorned, a red mark on Anita’s forehead confirmed that she was all ready for her new job. The gate of the college flew open and she entered the office for her first day at work. The office staff had a quizzical look on their face at the head of the English Department had already joined a couple of days ago. Anita was aghast. She showed them the papers and did not budge. She asked them to call the higher authority.

A rather smug looking man with a protruding belly came to answer her query. He said, “Madam, that job went to the area tax collector’s daughter. I know it must be heart breaking for you but the system has some rules. We can’t act against them. I am really sorry.” Tears welling up in Anita’s eyes, she ran through the corridor and passed the college gate in a blur. She only stopped when she couldn’t run any longer. She fell down on the ground. Crying bitterly, she saw the world fall apart. What was she going to tell her parents? What was she going to do now given that she left her last job a week back?

She didn’t go home until it was too dark. Surprisingly the society in which she lived in was flooding with light as she stopped near the gate horror struck.  Her home was a pile of debris. There were numerous rescue people pulling out residents of the building who were there inside their house when it collapsed. People were cursing the Government officials for using poor quality material for the construction.

source: www.boston.comAnita ran towards the debris to find her parents. Luckily her parents weren’t home when the mishap happened. They hugged their daughter and together they watched the ruins of their dream home being laden on the truck. Anita wanted to tell her parents that she lost her job. But the grief of a lost job was nothing as compared to the fall of the EMI dependent house which no longer existed.

Corruption is rising at an alarming rate all around the world. It hits us badly, from getting that job in the company (at least what I see in India) to that land which was to be allotted to the deserving candidate; too much is decided by bribery, power and politics. India rose against corruption under the leadership of Anna Hazare, but soon that lost momentum too.

In the past, countries agreed to cooperate with one another in every aspect of the fight against corruption, including prevention, investigation, and the prosecution of offenders. Countries are bound by the Convention to render specific forms of mutual legal assistance in gathering and transferring evidence for use in court, to extradite offenders. Countries are also required to undertake measures which will support the tracing, freezing, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption.

But is it helping?