Sarvodaya through Antyodaya

I recently visited a small village in Puspatirega. The village is known for it’s panoramic views of boxed houses & roads. Vizianagram, of which Puspatirega is a small part, is a historically renowned town. Tenali Ramakrishna, famously known as “Tenali ram” lived here under the patronage of King Krishnadev Raya. Tenali Ram was known for his wittiness and his stories are famed across the country. In spite of having has such an illustrious past, the socio-economic condition of the village today is dismal.

The village is divided on the basis of caste, with strict demarcation of localities for those belonging to Schedule Tribe (ST) community. In the village I visited, there was a large population of STs residing. In my transect walk I discovered that people were living on tits and bits, they had little to wear, insufficient food for the family, kuchha houses constructed mainly out of dry leaves and husk. Their voices were feeble and those at the apex of the system were unable to hear them. This made me think that it was rightly said by Mahatma Gandhi – “Sarvodya through Antaodya”- every scheme of the government should be prepared considering the last person standing.

Returning to the theme of my study – evaluation of the enabling and disabling factors of girl child education – I visited a govt. school with my team of investigators. The school premises was large enough, but  almost every govt. school lacked physical infrastructure  like benches, fans, water cooler etc. Unlike this, the private schools in cities were just opposite. These small establishments were running out of even small buildings, though had good infrastructural facilities, were mushrooming all over the state.

Not to anybody’s surprise, there are huge leakages in our educational system because of which we are unable to harness the potential of the future generation. Paulo Freire’s banking mode of education which illustrates that teacher is only pouring the knowledge in students’ brain without any interaction is an apt fit for Indian education system. It is important to acknowledge the potential of every student and our education system must be equipped to unearth that potential and polish it so that it reaches its fullest.

During the study I also realized that almost every parent wants their children to attend school (even if it is only till they attain a certain age). People belonging to the lowest strata of the society could only afford to send their children to the govt. school. However, as soon as their economic condition starts to improve, they promptly enroll their children into Pvt. schools.

A system runs efficiently only if all its organs works effectively. Although, the ones at the top of the hierarchy are the most responsible for its effectiveness but importance of others can’t be ignored. This is to say, that our teachers must realize their role in the system, they are not only a system for transmission of information from point A to B, but play a crucial role in the over all development of the child’s thought process.

Chanakya had once said to Dhanand when he ordered to thrash out Chanakya from his court that a tiny teacher can’t teach me what to do and what not to do to which Chanakya had replied “never underestimate the strength of a teacher – construction & destruction play on their lap”. It is to say that if the teachers start performing to their full potential then many things will automatically start changing for better.

We live in a society that is anti-deviant everyone blindly follows practices which were set years ago even if the logic to it is unknown. Sadly, this anti-deviant approach is killing the innovation and creativity of the people. The abbot of the community gets uneasy if someone questions the system prevailing, they start conspiring to make the path of the deviant difficult to walk.  For a healthy society it is important to give equal importance to every voice and further the individuality of all humans that form a part of it’s society.

In last this photo of Saraswati the Goddess of knowledge, art, music, wisdom and learning. Think!

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