“There is no friend as loyal as a book” – Ernest Hemingway
I still remember the day when I got my first book in my hand. I still remember how my days were used to be filled with joy and achievement whenever I got a new book in my hand during my childhood.
Books are essential parts of our lives today. Even though we have many creative methods of teaching, books still are very essential in our primary education.
There is no denying the importance of education in one’s life. Education is not only a direct and important part for measuring development and gender equality of one country, this also has indirect impact on other factors as well. But when we see India’s position in terms of development vis’-a-vis’ other countries we get shocked –
See the analysis here – Human Development in India
From the above analysis we find that from human development perspective education has direct impact on “Mean years of schooling” and indirect impact on factors like ‘Income’, ‘Poverty Index’, ‘Fixed and Mobile Telephone Subscription’ and ‘Trade and Economy’.
Similarly from gender equality perspective we find that ‘Population (>25 yrs) with at least Secondary Education’ is a major factor. We can also see more education to women means creation of educated workforce for more ‘Labour Force Participation’ by them. We can also expect these educated women to join politics and hence ‘Participation in National Parliament’ to increase. As an indirect impact of education, our young women will be also be more cautious in their sexual relations and will use proper contraceptives and that will bring down our ‘Adolescent Fertility Rate’ too.
So we find how important education is not only in our personal life but also in our national life. When we have an educated workforce we have a quality life and a quality future as well.
It is observed that our rural parents do not send their wards to school but they prefer sending them to work and earn at a very tender age. Our govt. has taken multiple initiatives to ensure that these children are sent to school and not to work and thus banned child labour till the age of 14 years. We have also started ‘Mid Day Meal’ scheme in school where children get nutritious food in their schools. But corruption in our country is so high that we see how more than 50 students have died in Bihar recently, due to poison in their meals. No wonder why we see that India still retarding in terms of both Human Development and Gender Equality with other African countries like Congo, Equatorial Gunuiea, Guatemala and others.
As an Indian, it rings the alarm bell in us and as a person who had been fortunate enough to have most premium education in the country I feel the pain for those poor students who may have the skill to excel in their lives, but are hindered today only because they don’t have proper food to eat.
As a poor nation, when poverty and corruption are the roots of our every problem, we need to overcome the same in various creative ways. Corruption exists in every country today and to ward off the same we need education. We need to enlighten our people so that they can be our assets and not liabilities.
Pratham Books is an excellent initiative in this regard. They have taken oath to give every child in India the joy of reading. The challenges to them are many due to staggering number of children in our country and the wide spread of the land to be covered. India has another unique problem of language where our language or the dialect changes every hundred kilometer. With 151 languages in India we have a truly staggering challenge at hand to accomplish the goal of reaching every child. But Pratham Books has overcome them in a very unique way. See their chairperson Rohini NIlekani speaking about their initiatives and see how they have overcome the same –
As an Indian if you want to see your country grow, dear reader, you may contribute to this cause in various ways. Do you care?