Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our society as the abolition of slavery.
Comparison with slavery and setting up primary education as the second Millennium Development Goal by the UN – illiteracy is certainly one of those concerns which should not be taken up lightly. Of course, it shouldn’t be. Literacy is one of the major indicators of the social development of any country. India is the land of the Vedas, the land of the scripts out of which so many languages are derived and yet we are the land with one of the lowest literacy rate.
We talk about everything that leads to economic development – industrialization, modernization, commercialization, digitization- and yet we really don’t realize the importance of education. All these things can be achieved only if we start from the grass root level. And sadly, when it comes to illiteracy, we can not take India as a whole. In India, the urban-rural gap is huge. Also, the literacy rate is almost 90% in Kerela whereas it is just around 45% in Bihar.
But what do we do about it? Maybe just talk. No? But there are people like Ajeet Singh who believe in the power of doing. And doing it right.
The story of his magical transformation is pretty simple and innovative. In the land of the river Ganga, where people go to wash their lifetime of sins, the future of the nation, the kids, are wasting their time roaming around aimlessly when they should be learning things to preserve the rich heritage of this sacred land of Varanasi. Just to overcome this li’l hurdle, Ajeet Singh started the Varanasi Boat School, which helps the children to learn and revise in a fun and ideal learning environment.
This guy started something, something small yet effective. If this can work well in Varanasi, imagine the way in which it could help the children in many other cities and towns in India. But can he do this alone? I agree that maybe not all of us are equipped enough to start something new, but we can surely help what has already been started.
This magical boat requires loads of things from renovation to new library to educational toys to stationary. Everyone can help by spreading the message about this journey of doing right and contributing towards the noble cause.
These are the li’l steps that we need to take to achieve bigger dreams. These are the changes that we seek in society. Are we ready to work towards it?