“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside”-
“I don’t want to go to a school that has no air-conditioners and where people don’t speak English”, daughter of one of my family acquaintances was incessantly reiterating in the front seat of the car while her parents discussed competent schools of Gorakhpur. Her sentences did amaze me a little, however, I did not find them echoing in my head till I was standing in front of Savitri Devi School. Located near a residential construction site, it is run in a rental building with no “air-conditioners”. It is the outcome of an initiative taken by a group of young people of my village who feel education is a key step in bringing social change.
I was talking to one of my colleagues about NoteBook Drive (NBD) initiative of Indian Institute of Science, who mentioned about NBD groups going to rural parts of Banglore and meeting students and parents. The main objective of this practice is to bring academic and social awareness. My colleague mentioned that these sessions bring them a great sense of happiness as they find rural folks open to educating their children irrespective of their gender or any financial restraints. I believe, my experience while meeting the school children of my village infers the same feeling. I remember when I was at that age, the only perspective of people around me had; to bring-up girl child into a well-trained/cultured “बहुॅ” (daughter-in-law) ready to be given away to a protector and caretaker (पति-देव!!! the husband). Whereas a boy had to be brought-up “masculine” i.e. fight, earn and protect (Phew…too much pressure). But to my delight, during my interaction with these kids, I didn’t come across any such ludicrous beliefs being told to them. They are being raised as individuals, to take-up anything coming their way. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to put these subtle changes paving their way through my village into words. Continue reading “Subtle changes leading the way”