“Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey
‘Roti, Kapda aur Makaan.’ These were the fundamental rights entitled to an Indian in every Bollywood movie. And somehow, most people thoroughly believed in this, which led to negligence of another basic right – Education. It’s true that we need the three basic rights to be fulfilled before we can actually ‘live’, instead of just breathing-eating-excretion-procreation. The malady of education has been gnawing at India since ages, when only a fraction of the society needed education to sustain the rest. But it can’t be so now. We have been realising over years that education, not only literacy, is imperative for everyone, especially in a country like ours.
We keep hearing about ‘free schools’ for children of lower strata, but aren’t most of them just to make them literate? Someone in Varanasi has realised the difference between ‘literacy’ and ‘education’, and jumped into a boat. Ajeet Singh has created a unique boat school for the children of Varanasi, who would spend two hours every day after their regular school hours in this boat. Is it a boat? Is it a school? No, it’s a #ScholarShip.
In a city dipped totally into the Holy Ganges and its various worship trades, there are children roaming astray on the streets. They may attend school, but not regularly because there might involve earning some quick money in tourist trades. These affect their studies, their results and hamper their ambition to do something bigger and better in life than loitering on the ghaats of Manikarnika or Dashashwamedh. It’s the boat school, which helps them concentrate, interact with other children of similar or different strata of life, share their experiences about their families and engage into something creative. The children can learn through painting, singing, story-telling and other crafts after school, without bothering their parents to spend on their hobbies.
The #ScholarShip video showcases some of these children expressing their wish for a few commodities which many of us wouldn’t squirm spending for our children. You, reading my blog here, wouldn’t mind buying your child a carom board or a few games. In fact, all our children are spoilt with such stuff from their parents and grandparents/relatives. Then why would these children be deprived of a computer or a music system which can hone their latent talents? The boat school needs a magical transformation and we could be a tiny part of it, goading in our glory of contribution.
You, and I, can embark into this journey of doing right for these children, and more in other cities and boats. The Varanasi boat school can lead a great example of ideal learning for other cities which could create more boat schools and a healthy environment for less privileged children to do things that other children do effortlessly.
Watch this short video, learn more, donate to the #ScholarShip and #DoRight.