Empowerment, Liberty and Equality are the ideals of the 21st century. The #Metoo movement transforming the status of women, Saudi Arabia agrees to let women drive, the future of healthcare prospered by inventions, digitisation drives growth in the economy and Right to Information is the future of justice. These are the headlines we come across every day. But do we feel we still have more to regret?
During the race to get the best of both worlds, we forget that human expectations and wants are never-ending. They can never be satisfied. What’s regrettable in the current situation is that people are unable to appreciate and value the achievements of the current millennium. They are using fancy words to overpower what we have achieved. They have turned a blind eye to the United Nations and have made it an “Unaccountable organisation”.
The number of deaths of children under the age of 5 has declined from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011. According to UNAIDS, the number of people who died from AIDS has decreased from 2.3 million in 2005 to 1.6 million in 2012. There are more and more people who have HIV and who are supported by the UN and its sub-organisations.
In 2010 and 2011, the UN stepped in and provided the residents in devastated areas with aid in food supplies and other necessities in Japan and Hanoi. It also helped stabilise food security.
We have moved a long way from the era of dictatorship and monarchies and have transitioned into democracies. There are currently 123 countries that follow a democratic form of government. The citizens of Burkina Faso had their first free and fair elections in November 2015. The abolition of the Monarchy in Nepal on 28 May, 2008 is a testament to the power of the democratic form of government.
Technological advancements have led to further innovations like microchips, smartphones, laptops, virtual reality, etc. Eradication of diseases like polio, malaria, smallpox due to advancement in medicine and health care has been made possible.
Since the last case of polio in West Bengal in January 2011, no other case has been reported. In March 2014, The World Health Organisation certified India as a polio-free region. The life expectancy was around 37 years in 1951; it almost doubled to 65 years by 2011. There is a steady decline in the infant mortality rate, marked by the death rate coming down to half of what it was during the 50s.
The Chotu who used to serve chai at a Murthal Dhaba now has the right to education. One of the major achievements of the decade was the approval of the Right to Education (RTE) Bill that was passed on 2 July, 2009. The RTE Act makes education a fundamental right of every child and bridges the gap between different classes of society. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% seats for poor children.
Feminism is now seen as a movement, ideology and belief. Women’s rights are being acknowledged in different countries. 33% of seats are reserved for women and Triple Talaq has been abolished, and yesterday, women were guaranteed access to temples in Kerela.
The LGBT community is recognised as legal in many countries. Gay adoption is legal in the United States of America and the recent abolishment of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code reflects a lot about our changes in perception.
We need to start appreciating our progress. It is like a child in school. If a child is making progress, appreciate that progress and tell them their drawbacks. A negative attitude towards progress would contribute to stagnation. If the child is demotivated and is never appreciated for their progress, they will always stay in fear of dejection.
Our society faces the same problem; we need to respect that we have come a long way.