“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.
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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.