“Don’t give me roti …give me education and I will snatch roti from you,” responded a migrant labourer to a TV reporter after asked what he demanded from political parties in the soon-to-be-held Bihar elections. APJ Abdul Kalam’s vision for a developed Bharat can be realized only when every citizen is educated, when they know their rights and duties for the nation.
The on-going pandemic has hit every sector, and education is no exception. Schools have been closed for about 6 months, and most don’t see themselves opening soon. Lack of infrastructure required for online learning is the biggest hurdle for lakhs of students, mainly in rural areas. Shaky internet connectivity and expensive data charges are obstacles for many middle-class students.
There’s another positive side emerging amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as many self-reliant heroes are coming to the rescue of rural children. Many are teaching their neighbours’, many school teachers, government workers, and even police officers are voluntarily teaching children. We must also make our contribution to this mission, and every effort counts on the whole.
Girls are affected worst by this epidemic as they are easily left out due to the social environment in our nation. They are forced into doing household work, into early marriage, and face many forms of violence during this lockdown. Even when the situation returns to ‘normal’ many girls might not return to schools as before because of many issues.
There are various schemes, namely Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Balika Samriddhi Yojana, run by the central and state government for girls’ education but many remain only on paper, with zero-to-little on-ground effects. All the officials and stakeholders should see that every girl, from any and all marginalized caste or religion, receives proper education and skills to lead a life with pride and contribute to society.