Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The wind of change

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world. " - Mahatma Gandhi

India is the land of Paradoxes. We say about the value of life, but will not act to save any life even if we see an accident. We say about the value of literacy, but will not do anything to improve the current situation. We say about poverty, but will not act. We have a very 'genuine' excuse to it - 'These are duties of Government, not mine!!' Of course, there are a few who genuinely like to do something to the society and I like to dedicate this post to them. The blog is about a set of people who are trying to change the life of a few illiterate children.

Last year, our college has got approval for increasing the batch size to 180. (For those who doesn't know my background - I am studying in IRMA, Anand ,Gujarat. ) The construction of class room, hostel etc. had started in last December. Hundreds of contract labourers are working in campus. They are actually migrants from Odisha. They come with their children to work place, as no one at home to look after their children. It is really nice to see the children playing around in the ground, enjoying their time. The sad part is - they are not going to school!! Parents want them to become construction workers by the age of ten, so that they can also contribute to their family income. 

Like us, they are also in IRMA. While we become the so called 'managers'  and conquer 'great heights' , these children will grow up and become construction workers, lives in some slums, do the work till their health is fine and probably they will die due to mishap at construction site. Some ministers may cry for a few minutes and no one cares their family after that. Many of us feel sad and had sympathy to them. But none of us did anything to stop this, until someone took the initiative .

One of my friend , Sudhir Kumar decided to teach them!! Inspired by his initiative, many of us joined with him. We donated 100 rupees each and bought sufficient stationery items. Within one week, we had a small board and about 20 notebooks for the children. We started with teaching them numbers and languages.Everyday two of us will teach the children in the evening after our class.Their interest in learning surprised us. Most of them learned things quite fast.Now they have learnt English - A to Z , Numbers 1-50 , name of some fruits,vegetables etc etc.Encouraged by our activity, one of our faculty's wife, a school teacher, promised to volunteer the activity while we are away for internship.

Currently, on June 2014, we are out of campus for our internship. But the children still gets tuition.We do not know whether this can make any difference in their life. We were not able to convince their parents regarding the importance of proper school learning. However we are doing our best. If one of them get a better life, we will be very happy. After all , life is not about collecting certificates.

We cannot say that this is our kindness. We are just trying to do our part as the responsible citizens of  India. From tomorrow, before you start complaining about the situation of our country, before you start praising the western countries for their so called development, ask yourself what have you given to your nation? A nation develops when the citizens work for the country. India has not developed. Why? 

P.S : Team members- Sudhir Kumar, Alankrita Goswami, Shivansh Mishra, Alok Anand, Sayeree Das, Srishti Mishra, Gadha Raj, Vikram , Ishita Kotak, Ishita Srivastava,Anjali Choudary and Sumodh G Namboothiri