Social Consciousness can be defined as, “the state of being aware of the problems existing and prevailing in the society, understanding the hardships crippling the social structure to move forward in the direction of improvement and prosperity”.
When it comes to me, I find one important ingredient missing in this pedantic definition which leads to the non-portrayal of a pragmatic countenance of Social Consciousness, “Action” is the word. I have never accepted the argument that I, you or any individual, who is a member of this society is not aware of the disparity existing in the society on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, class, or sexual identity. What we lack is an “action” or “an awareness to act” in the direction of minimizing this difference and hence weakening the root cause of social problems.
Human Beings are a social animals. Every individual depends upon some or many other individuals to fulfill his requirements; requirements in terms of services, and requirements in terms of existence. The society is a family tree in which an individual is at the lowest node. To keep this tree strong and flourishing, every member node should be in a state to contribute to the strength, and if some particular node is not capable enough of the same, other capable nodes should support in the nourishment of the underprivileged ones, because at the end it is, in fact, the question of YOUR survival.
The other perspective talks of human behaviour which responds to the pain and stigma of the others. Some of the people might lack it, but I bet, not many do. This argument corroborates the fact that everyone wants to live happy and should contribute to make others happy too. When I talk of the Indian society – Poverty, Indigence, Gender Inequality and other social ailments have always been a challenge in the path of development (They keep on forcing India to remain a developing Country). The social suffering has always restricted the Economic and Infrastructural growth. In a country of 1.1 billion people, it’s not wise to expect the government to eradicate every existing problem in the society. The only thing which can help out in this direction will be at least a single step forward by every capable individual in the direction of upliftment of the incapable ones and solution of problems which prohibit a certain individual to participate in the perpetual process of growth.
We need to be a part of the revolution which should be started at the root. Major threats like Illiteracy, Diseases, Caste -Based Inequality should be checked at neophyte’s level. There are thousands of children who don’t even get a chance to be the part of the growth process; they don’t have access to pencils while we are running our fingers on keyboards. Why can we not hold one hand, at least, and enable it to write on paper. We can do it, but what we need is the concern. I know making one hand able to write cannot solve problems of a billion other people but if every one of us helps one hand , don’t you think that the ratio of those who need help to those who are able to help would not be very poor? And one hand can help many hands also, one helped hand can help another needy hand and the chain goes on. So, we just need to ignite it, proliferation will take place. Its not that there is a complete absence of the light. There are many organizations and people who are working in this direction. We just need to join them.
Initiating something might be the onus but I don’t think being a part of it needs some extravagant effort. Small contributions would certainly lead to significant changes.
A combined effort by individuals at an organizational level would be more effective, especially, organizations which have a strong infrastructural base and employees of high intellect and good reach to different sections of the society.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.