“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.
Christmas is around the corner again and everyone gets the chance to play Santa to their loved ones. Being a parent probably gives one the perks of playing Santa to their children all life. There are innumerable things, material or intangible, that you can gift your children besides memories. Of course, memories are the best gifts for their future. I still cherish my childhood for everything my parents had done to make it a memorable one. I am yet to start raising a child, but I would like to jot down five gifts that would be essential in crafting their future as stellar human beings.
Image Courtesy: 123rf.com
1. ‘No’ to gender stereotypes – I noticed that the advertisement for this contest suggests planning Stanford education for sons and wedding expenses for daughters. Do we really need this stereotyping even in the 21st century? Too many people, like in this advert, still believe that little boys ask for toy aeroplanes and girls ask for princess dolls. I think we should finally cross the barriers of aeroplanes and dolls and make them available for all children irrespective of their genders. I would like to gift my child the sensitivity to steer clear of gender stereotypes. Be it a girl or boy, I would want my child to believe that they have the right to both dolls/Stanford or aeroplanes/lavish wedding, whichever they choose to ask for.
Health and immunity are the keywords in life when we speculate about ourselves and especially, our children. Immunity, besides being genetic, mostly depends on what we eat, where we live, the air we breathe and the habits we acquire. It is a known fact that while we are being technologically advanced with each decade, even each day, the biosphere where we reside is deteriorating at a faster rate than we know of. I was born in the late 20th century, in a more polluted environment than my parents were born decades earlier. Since the ’90s, global warming and massive pollution have poisoned the world for children these days. Most of us are cognizant of the fact that India ranks quite high in being one of the most polluted countries in the world. Frankly, do we even need any index to prove so? Each of us can feel and are compelled to breathe in the malicious air every time we step out of our homes. Immunity is heavily dependent on pollution, among other factors. It is upto us to adopt correct measures and build a healthy and immune India for the future generations. Let’s take a look at what we can do:
Image Source: 123rf.com
What is Immunity?
A sneak peak into the coveted word used very often these days – the immune system in our body is made up of a complex network of cells, tissues and organs which work together to protect us against germs and harmful organisms. When a foreign body like antigen enters the body, these cells get together to build antibodies, which are specialized proteins to attack the invaders. These antibodies actually remember their antagonistic antigens and fight them every time. Humans have 3 types of immunity – innate (the one we are born with), adaptive (the one we develop while growing up) and passive (temporarily provided by external factors like breast milk or medicines).