Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Education and Survival

It is a well known fact that Man has three primary or basic needs, namely, food, clothes, and shelter.It is only after these basic needs are fulfilled that Man begins to entertain other needs! It is a well known fact that a large number of people living in India live well below the poverty line. Many of them don’t even know whether they will be able to get a square meal before going to sleep! We are so excited about the recent fanfare regarding the so called right to education that we turn a blind eye towards the ugly reality of poverty in India! I wonder, what it is that you would give to a  hungry Man, food or Education? The Right to Education is dependant on The Right to Live with Dignity and The Right to Employment . Our Policy Makers and Leaders should first focus on the core problem of Poverty followed by the problem of Unemployment and only after this should they talk about Right to Education!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Right to Education, a right step towards a Resurgent India?

The right to education is a progressive step towards a resurgent India. It is a known fact that Education is an important tool of empowerment, a tool which can help eradicate superstition, and the darkness of ignorance! However it remains to be seen how we can ensure that this right benefits the target audience. In a country plagued by poverty, how do you motivate a poor family to send its children to school knowing very well that it will affect the family income?

In a country plagued by poverty, we have rampant cases of child labour, where children are made to work to supplement the family income. It is apparent that if children start going to school, then it will affect the family income.How do you convince a poor family to sacrifice a large portion of its income just so that the children go to school? To a poverty stricken family it becomes of utmost importance to get a decent meal, enough to survive, or to subsist.

To make the right to education a success we need to ensure that poverty alleviation projects percolate to the worst affected families!  Right to Education can be a success only when we are able to sustain poverty stricken families in their endeavour to survive. We need to be partners in survival. Right to Education can be successful only when we are able to involve  families living below the poverty line by convincing them to send their children to school by promising them that they will not lose anything financially and that the state will be able to bear the financial burden entailed .

Imagine that a family of five members has a total monthly income of Rs. 10,000/- The father works a a daily wage earner and earns Rs. 5000/-. The mother earns Rs.2000/- by working as a maid. The two daughters earn another Rs.3000/- between themselves as maids in various residences. How do you convince them to send their two daughters to school knowing very well that by doing so they would have to forego Rs.3000/- from their combined family income of Rs.10,000/-? Will the state compensate them to the tune of Rs.3000/- a loss which they would incur as a result of sending their daughters to school?

Schooling entails various other expenses besides tuitions fees. These expenses include the expenses of stationary, uniforms and  the fees to be paid towards other expenses like paying a Tutor, whose services are indispensible, medical expenses, transportations expenses, and various other miscellaneous expenses.

It goes without saying therefore that in order to make Right to Education a success, we need to raise the standard of living of families living below the poverty line, we need to ensure that children are given job opportunities, and we need to give poverty stricken families financial benefits and incentives which are realistic in nature so that children are sent to school. This is a onerous task especially in a Nation where Unemployment remains a scourge!

It is clear that to make Right to Education a success we need to abolish Child Labour and provide financial compensation to poverty stricken families to send their children to school.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Killing initiative in Talented teachers-A poem

It is so easy to Kill talent in a teacher!
All you need do is:
Make fun of him before others,
Especially before those Junior to him.

All you need do is:
Call him Professor, or “Sirjee” amongst
Your favourite sycophants!

All you need do is:
Give him a class much below his capability,
To demean him is your target!

All you need do is:
Tell him he can’t Maintain his Registers,
So make him a class teacher of a lower class!

All you need do is:
Break him by giving him petty work,
The best work is reserved for your favourites!

All you need do is:
Keep a pleasant visage before him,
But stab him behind his back!

All you need do is:
Character Assassination for you
Fear he is better than you will ever be!

Well you see, we don’t need
Talented teachers in our system
Of Education,
All we need are Pedants, Sycophants and yes-men!

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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Truck Art in India

While driving around on the roads of India, one comes across many interesting and pleasing sights, both Natural and Man-made. Among the Man-made are the large number of trucks that you come across on the highways. The trucks seem to be canvasses of art, and encyclopaedias of information. However, one finds the liberal over-use of English rather amusing! One can find grammatical errors, spelling errors, and semantic errors. One most common error can be found in the words cautioning motorists following the truck about the “ Pawar Breaks” that have been installed in the truck!. The new initiate on the roads of Delhi will no doubt be puzzled by the words, “ Pawar Breaks!” Our obsession for English transcends all barriers of Caste, Creed, Region, or Language! The Faux Pas found on the trucks are bound to make even the most melancholy of motorists laugh! The other day, while returning from IGI Airport, I found myself racking my brains to decipher what was written on the back of a truck! It exceeded all the Faux Pas I have ever Seen! Look for yourself and enjoy:

water late

I couldn’t resist taking a snap from my cell phone! I have come across the words, “ Better Late Than Never”, but the words, “Water Late Then Never” had me scratching my head in puzzlement! I think these errors have a character of their own and they should be appreciated for the smile or the laugh that they bring to you!

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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Confessions of a Sycophant, as confessed to me - A poem

I am a sycophant,
I laugh when you laugh, pant when you pant.
I nod when you nod, sit when you sit-to please you.
I watch your every move, to follow you,
My aim, to please you!

I have no personality of my own,
My dream, to be your own.
You own me soul and spirit,
You are the Sun, I am your Planet!
I am ever yours, your  dearest puppet!

So I Pray to you my Lord,
on me to shower your favour Lord.
I am weak, and lack the strength to stand
on my own.You are my support,
I am, ever yours, your ardent Sycophant!