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Give the gift of Education



By Niyati Bali

Education is an essential asset but its importance is truly undervalued. Despite being exposed to the privilege of educational facilities, we often tend to become careless and thankless with regard to it.

Keeping into account these social differences, humanity seems to be dipping low. The concern for imparting knowledge to the needy is degrading by the passing minute. We must realise that education is one of the greatest assets one can possess. It is a powerful weapon which can empower, enrich, smarten a person and make them independent in all arenas.

We must try to step into the shoes of those who crave knowledge, books or anything that will make them hopeful about their futures. It is estimated that at least 35 million and possibly as many as 60 million children aged 6–14 years are not enrolled in school in India. The large proportion of illiterate females is another reason for the low literacy rate of the country.

Education is essential for making one’s place in society. More importantly, its dissemination is directly related to awareness. Imagine if all the illiterate people were aware about the basic arrangements of water and hygiene, so many lives would have been saved from diseases such as typhoid, cholera and even HIV.

With the increasing population, reproductive health of women is also at stake, and so, education is the key to upheaval of the lower strata of our society. Apart from this, an educated person becomes more employable and open to a wide range of opportunities. Education acquaints one with their rights and responsibilities. Thus, it leads to people becoming valuable community assets.

It is a full circle because ultimately all these efforts will help our nation to further develop. By stopping illegal activities such as child labour and bondage upon kids, we can bring a change that is needed.

But, how can we begin to impart this knowledge? It is agreeable that sometimes rural residents tend to be rigid in accepting the introduction of education in their lives. What seems to be a reason for this is the hesitation that the means to education will be expensive.

Despite the implementation of innumerable schemes for cheaper educational models, the less privileged still feel that education should not be prioritised. They consider it practical in the immediate practice, so as to have a steady income. But, what they ignore is the long-term benefits of education and the stability it provides.

Many of them complain that due to lack of resources, they are not able to continue their educational pursuit. For those, comes the government with their reservation schemes. But, as responsible citizens, we too can make a difference. We can start by donating books, stationery and other education essentials to these children.

An efficient method to help the underprivileged is to aid them in achieving basic literacy by collaborating or contributing in social programmes enforced by NGOs, business firms, schools,  and so on.

To name a few organisations, E-Vidyaloka is helping combat the severe shortage of teachers in government schools and its work has benefitted over 20,000 children in over 200 remote villages. This has been done by connecting the children to volunteer teachers worldwide. Another is Vanavil Trust that helps kids from marginalised and historically nomadic communities. It works closely with the Boom Boom Mattukaran and Narikuravar tribes and fosters their dream of attaining education.

Vidya and Child is one more such project aiming to improve the lives of children belonging to socio-economically marginalised sections of the society. Today, a majority of its learners are first-generation school-goers. The organisation is helping over 1,800 children across five locations in semi-rural and rural settings through its school and after school support programmes.

Therefore, if not at a large scale, we all can make a small contribution for the benefit of others. What aptly fits the situation is the saying, ‘knowledge increases by sharing.’

So, let us take out just an hour of a week to teach a child. India is better with children who have books. With continued efforts, dedication and awareness, we will achieve the goal of a literate India.