Ge Gao, MFA from Columbia University says writing is political. It is ultimately about the freedom of speech. In his essay, George Orwell argued that all writing contains certain political opinions. We want to be remembered. We want to be loved. We have a sense of injustice and feel that our stories—either stories about us or stories by us—need to be heard.
When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is. And your life is just to live your life inside the world, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. Be happy when the bank account is full and running over; when the job is secure, and a promotion is on the horizon; when the salary is good; when our health is fine. But we have a tough time believing when those things aren’t true.
Maybe your situation is caused by other people, broken relationships, and betrayal or hurt that has wounded you deeply. I think that’s very important, and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change your life and make it better. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
There are hardships we experience with difficult work environments and bosses who ignore you. You may have bad breaks, bad health and bad days. The divorced know this feeling. So do people with disabilities. The unemployed have felt it, as have those with lesser access to education. We keep our distance from the depressed and avoid the terminally ill.
Every one of us should consider our relationships from two angles: Who influences me? And who do I influence? We should be purposeful about both of these things because both are so very important in life.
“My Friend’s Story of Discrimination Is A Reminder Of India’s Biased Education System” is a wonderful article By Teesha Chugh and Anisha Shekhar who bring in a real-life scenario which can revolutionise education.
They write, “For inclusive education to become a reality, it is essential to build flexibility in the curriculum, sensitise children in mainstream schools and train teachers in transformational pedagogy. We can no longer afford to treat our future workforce as a burden. They might require additional attention and training but it is worth the effort, in order to make our society open and equitable.
“The last citadel to be breached in creating an inclusive society is that of our minds. For far too long, we have promoted and appreciated ableism. It is essential to transform our patronising thoughts from these positions to one of respect and inclusion.
“A strong and inclusive public school system with a vigilant government, media and community is the only answer for an equal and fair education system. Every school should be audited and certified Right to Education compliant, which means ensuring inclusive education in school. Inclusive education will not be ushered in by having an accessible infrastructure, but by ensuring that our teachers develop an inclusive mindset.”
Another headline which caught my attention was: “This Team Treks Hundreds of Kilometers In Himalayas To Electrify Villages That Are Not Even On Google Maps”. I was also impressed reading about the feat of Hitesh Mahawar and his team who had climbed a section of the Himalayas and achieved the feat. What they did was very simple, but it has the potential to transform the lives of 60 people.
In a Hindustan Times article, debuting director Vikas Kapoor had this to say about the film: “It’s a very simple story capturing the richness of India. I found this story so compelling that I couldn’t resist telling it to the world. I mean, imagine being denied the right to touch colour.”
The film’s plot revolves around the Supreme Court order against an age-old tradition of not allowing widows in Vrindavan to play Holi.
I met my childhood friend after many years. He informed me of his wedding. He married a widow. He is a Bengali Brahmin and so is his wife. He just took the decision based on the belief that everyone deserves a second chance in life.
Villagers assert that marriages do not happen in their village since most of the eligible bachelors cannot find brides who are willing to marry and settle down in Rajghat. The village gives an impression of a deserted outlook which was lost and found. It doesn’t have clean drinking water, no electricity, no power and no toilets. The Health Centre is the only means of providing medical facilities for the water-borne diseases prevalent from the polluted water from Chambal.
You may find decomposed bodies and worse still, bodies of unmarried women and children who are often buried in shallow graves along the riverbank. This will definitely alert environmentalists. Public services, especially healthcare, education, employment and scarcity of water are in a poor condition given the lack of infrastructure and skilled manpower to deliver these services.
This year, after a span of 22 years, a wedding took place in this Rajasthan village of Rajghat.
Problems are also opportunities. If you want to be a part of the solution, then this is what you can do.
You can adopt a child, fund a school, do crowdfunding, provide electricity, construct toilets, provide clean water, use the platform of Youth Ki Awaaz, move places, teach a class, change careers, etc. Make a difference. Sure, it isn’t safe, but what is?
Truthfully, life is full of problems. And not all problems can be solved. But I like the idea of regarding problems as challenges, because it’s a wonderful reminder that we have been given the power to do something about them.