Elimination of illiteracy is as serious an issue to our society as the abolition of slavery.
-Maya Angelou
Have you heard about the Millennium Development Goals? Illiteracy eradication is one of them. It is compared with slavery too. And you think it is not a serious issue? Think again.

Literacy is a major indicator of a country’s social status. We were the land of Vedas, the land of scripts which have given birth to so many languages should be leading in literacy. But guess what? We are the land with one of the lowest literacy rate in the world.

We are always talking about the big things  – industrialization, modernization, commercialization, digitization. But how do we reach there without education? All these things can be achieved only if we start from the grass root level. And the non-uniformity in India regarding illiteracy is alarming. The urban-rural gap is huge. Also, the literacy rate is almost 90% in Kerela whereas it is just around 45% in Bihar.

And this is one thing that has always bothered me. I was lucky enough to receive an education. But not everyone is. I wanted to do something about it. In school and college, I was actively helping some NGOs to help the less privileged to read and write. But as I grew up, I got tangled in my own life. And just when I was thinking and blaming my busy life and fewer resources for being so helpless in doing my part, I came across Ajeet Singh. I read about him while browsing some good articles on the internet.

What he has done is imaginative. What has he done? He tried to magically transform the world around him. His story starts from the land of the river Ganga, where people go to wash their lifetime of sins. Here, 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.
He started something which he knew is small but his undeterred determination did not make him stop. 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.

We might be sitting comfortably in our homes, nodding our heads on the facts and figures that are shocking and then blaming the bureaucracy, the Government and everyone around for the poor state of the nation. But we can help, right? Why not just use the li’l luck that we had that helped us become literate and stand where we are today. We all can start small. Even Ajeet Singh is struggling but he has not given up.

Get inspired, do something good and spread the vibe. Make that your new year resolution.

I am writing for the #SpreadTheVibe campaign by Youth Ki Awaz. 


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Picture Credits : Rohan Raizada