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In 24 Episodes, Ravish Kumar Has Exposed The Failures Of Our Education System

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When India’s former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, drew ‘Vision 2020’, he was largely dependent on the majority of the age group that our country has – the youth.

At this particular point, India has the highest youth population in the entire world. When the debate about India still not making it big worldwide comes across, we conveniently ignore this age group.

2020 is almost around the corner and we probably aren’t even getting where Dr Kalam wanted us to be. Where did it actually go wrong? What are the reasons behind us not progressing despite having the highest youth population?

It seems like nobody has the time to give attention to an important issue like this. Our news channels are busy with Honeypreet, Taj Mahal, Gujarat elections and what not. However, amidst diminishing hope from Indian journalism, Ravish Kumar just finished a series that provides some clarity on the question I’ve asked above.

No matter how much criticism Ravish has been subjected to for being a vocal critic of the establishment, he comes back with more power.

University Series’ was aired on NDTV in 24 episodes during prime time and raised some necessary questions. No matter what political views you carry or party you support, this series is for you. This is for every single young person in the country who is going to university or is about to join any university. It’s also for those who are thinking of taking teaching as a profession. Here are some of the important questions that Ravish’s ‘University Series’ raised:

Why Are Enough Teachers Not Appointed In Major Universities?

Imagine that you get admitted to an engineering college. Once you get admission, you come to know that your college doesn’t have teachers for the number of subjects. How will you study those subjects? How will you end up being a good engineer?

Majority of the universities and educational institutions does not even have half of the teachers that they actually require. Teachers for essential subjects like chemistry, maths and much more are not available. Universities do not even bother to hire teachers. The posts remain empty for years.

So many students complete their graduation without any teachers for such important subjects. How do you expect these students to get jobs if they don’t even have the knowledge of basic subjects? Who is responsible for their unemployment?

Why Labs And Libraries Are Such A Mess

Labs are where you get practically trained for the industry. You apply what you learn in the lab. But a majority of the institutions does not have labs. And those that do, don’t have the necessary equipment. Institutions that have both, have no teachers to tell students how to perform the practical.

Books remain to be the only medium to study when your education system is in splits. But wait, here’s one more mind-boggling twist – many universities don’t even have libraries for students to read in. Those that do have libraries are often not well maintained. Where do you think students will study?

Why Are Buildings Being Built If They’re Not Supposed To Be Used?

A large number of colleges have built new buildings for new courses. However, neither did the courses start, nor the buildings were ever used. The newly constructed buildings are now covered with grass.

Why was so much of the public fund wasted to build these buildings if they weren’t supposed to be used in first place?

Lack Of Training And Placement

When the universities have no teachers to teach important subjects, how do we expect them to have training and placement cells? Which company would like to hire students who don’t even have the basic idea of subjects and have zero practical knowledge?

Also, some of the students who graduate from these colleges, apply to become teachers in these institutes. They keep filling various forms but the institutes never hire them. Some of the institutions have posted circulars of vacancy 3-4 years ago, but nobody’s been hired till now.

All the 24 episodes were an outstanding piece of reporting. The reason for why our country isn’t progressing ahead is the unemployment of the youth. And for the unemployment of our youth, these universities and institutions are responsible. We are producing graduates with zero knowledge.

Kudos to Ravish Kumar and his team for this amazing effort. Unfortunately, I think there are very minimal chances that this series would bring any change since our education system has been unmoved till now. But before you decide to troll Ravish Kumar, think about why you’re sitting here jobless. It’s the system that has made you sit and troll others. Do not fall for them. Your future is being destroyed. Appreciate the efforts of people like Ravish Kumar, because none of the nationalist channels have talked about this problem.

You must be to comment.
  1. Akanksha Lohmore

    I am very happy that you have brought out to public that Ravish has a meaningful series as this. But I am sure, the problems are deeper and many with the Indian education system than the surface you have scratched here. Please try using data and references from credible sources when making claims and inferences. It will add credibility and background to the idea and the written piece.
    Nevertheless, you have done a good job by taking up this issue. Hopefully you would continue reporting on this.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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