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Small village ‘Silani’ mirrors nation’s social inequalities



By Dhairya Kapur

If education doesn’t make you a little rebellious, there’s something wrong with the education you are receiving. If the books you read don’t push you to ask questions, you are reading the wrong books. If the news you are reading doesn’t make you uncomfortable, you need to re-think. To throw light on questioning what we see, feel and experience, let me share one of my experiences.

Recently, I visited a village named ‘Silani’, which comes under Gurugram district, Haryana. When I entered the village, I could perceive a clear divide compared to the world we have been living in. The people in this village are living in poverty. The findings of the World Inequality Report turned out to be true when I saw that India has actually failed to provide decent living conditions to the poor. Not just that, it has also failed to reduce the extreme inequality that existed even during the time of Independence.

The current data reveal that today, the richest 1 per cent earn as much as the bottom 67 per cent. Let me narrate a situation from the village. In one of the houses, the drinking water was coming from the ground through a pipe. But sadly, the pipe was right next to the blocked drain that was unhygienic.

The village also has a school. But it has just one in-built toilet and that is only for women. Well, there is no toilet facility for men. There are no other state-of-the-art amenities available in the school. Another interesting fact surfaced when the school clerk mentioned that the school was recently whitewashed. But it didn’t look so.  The only room that looked painted was that of the Principal. Concerns such as shortage of teachers for subjects like Mathematics and Chemistry also came to light.

The question is, when will we see children from these villages across India go to a school with all the facilities available? In many of these schools situated in rural regions of India, the teachers do not come to the class to teach. 

Moreover, I observed none of the women have the liberty to use a gas cylinder. They were using ‘chulhas’ (a small earthen or brick stove that is fuelled by dried cow dung) for cooking. 

The divide between the rich and poor or urban and rural must be reduced. India’s rural regions need massive development. The younger generation, growing up in rural areas across the country, needs a good school for education. A lot needs to be done.

And, these issues have been constantly bothering me!