By Ankita Ranjan:
Education is the stepping stone to development. Educate the children and improve the society. However, in today’s declining economy, education is meant only for those who can easily afford two square meals a day. It is an unattainable dream for those who live on the margins, under the burden of class structures, and for those whose hope for betterment is only a luxury. They live their lives only in good faith in God or some politicians who promise development in lieu of their votes.
So if the elite group, who can actually make a difference, goes on harping the same string with no change in the education system whatsoever then how can the change come and development start?Â This is the time where the common man awakens and strives against all odds to improve his situation. The unprivileged sections of our society have kept mum for long now.
Although the government now gives the right to have free and compulsory education to children aged 6 to 14, it does not ensure it. Thus, arising in the form of NGOs and other social entrepreneurs, a massive change can be seen in the education system. Independent organizations like Teach For India, Pratham and Make A Difference come out and help the needy. They are working in multiple partnerships and taking the help of socially aware college goers and others. These organization have changed the lives of the underprivileged from the slums of Mumbai (Pratham), orphanages (Make A Difference) and under resourced schools (Teach For India). With many more organizations like CRY and Barefoot College (named the second best NGO based educational system by the Global Journal for 2013), India is now on the verge of seeing a change in education system.
Apart from these NGOs, there are dynamic individuals who are contributing to the society through their work in education. Kanailal Saha, a common kachori seller of Kadambagachi in 24 Praganas district of West Bengal, started a school called Little Planet to educate the unprivileged students of his village at a monthly cost of INR120 only. Working for 13 years now, he has changed the way people of Kadambagachi village view education. Similarly, Dharampal Saini changed the outlook of the tribal girls of Timrapal village of Bastar in Chhatisgarh. In this Naxal prone district, he started Mata Rukmani Seva Sansthan to give a new hope of life to the girls. He has been working for over 40 years now and has revolutionised education in the minorities. Forming Mangaldeep, the Joshi siblings transformed the way the Himalayan terrain inhabitants looked at differently abled children. Initially starting with just six students, the school is changing lives of more than 50 students from near and far.
These people and organisations restore faith in humanity at a time when Indians need a boost to bring about change. Leading by examples, these commoners help not only the young children of the country, but also inspire us to start something similar in order to achieve a progressive society.