The best tool of Empowerment - Education
I opened my eyes and found myself at a completely new place, a place that looked completely deserted. I looked for a location board on the road so that I could know my whereabouts. After walking for about a mile I saw one with an arrow I tried hard to read the word written on it but could not as that was a different language, some language that was alien to me. Not sure what to do I ran towards the direction that was depicted on the arrow. To my relief I could notice a small shop like structure at the end point up to which the road was visible. I ran faster, panting heavily with aching feet I reached the shop. There was a canny woman sitting besides the counter. I went up to her and asked her politely still heavily breathing, “Ma’am I need your help, this place is new for me and I seem to have lost my way”. She looked at me with a dead face then handed me a booklet and signaled with her hands that she could was deaf and dumb. I was happy to receive the small help though and quickly opened the booklet that seemed to be like an itinerary of places but again the language of the book was alien! I screamed and just then woke up and thanked god that it was just a dream and I was in a world where the language used was not alien to me and even if stranded at a place I could well communicate and find my way home. The feeling I had is synonymous with the many people in our country who are not blessed with the power of education.
Education is not just bookish knowledge
My nine year old cousin studies in a very prominent school of Delhi. I see her carrying a big heavy bag to school every day that appears to be twice her size, which reminds me of my school days too. During the summer holidays the holiday homework she got was so vast and complex that half the homework ended up being done by her parents. During the exams I find her mugging up her subjects. Is this education in the real sense? Let me be very clear this is no blame game but just an eye opener that education starts from the very first day the child is born. The wisdom the child gradually gains from his parents, from the books, from his/her peers at school from anything and everything in the surrounding contribute to his/her education. Education gives us the power to apply our knowledge in our lives. It gives us the acumen and the understanding that leads to our development as a person and as a citizen of our country. So along with the big and heavy books one must teach one’s children to understand the deep concepts and not just read superficially.
Benefits are countless If I start listing the benefits of education than it will probably not fit in this space, but I would like to mention some that have direct impact on the country’s development.
Education adds to the talent pool of the country
The foremost advantage of having a major population literate will mean more skilled people. Our country will then produce more engineers, doctors, surgeons, pilots and many more professions. Not only on the professional front education makes the citizens more responsible, decisive and informed thus helping the country in a positive way. These will in turn increase the chances of future discoveries and developments in the various fields of science, engineering, communications, computers and many more. A country develops with the development of its citizens and when we have a population that is literate we are bound to make a mark in the international arena.
Education helps control population It has been found that women who are educated prefer to have lesser children as they understand that the quality of life she and her husband can provide to lesser children would be far better than they would be able to provide if they had more children. So this in turn helps to curb the growing population in the country. Population is one of the major problems India faces today and so education is a tool that is bound to provide long term positive effects in the society.
Empowers women and brings in gender equality
India has long witnessed the Indian women being stuck up in the four walls of her house, taken for granted as the gender meant to be at home and not indulge in activities of the outer world. But the times have changed drastically. Now we have women folk on top positions in so many fields, be it politics, sports, films or business. Education has empowered the women and they are now independent individuals contributing greatly towards the Indian economy. A healthy woman means a healthy family and a healthy family in turn contributes to a healthy society that makes a healthy nation. Moreover women who are educated marry at a suitable age and wisely have children at an age that best suits their economic and health conditions. These small benefits have larger affects on the society as a whole. The women of India have come out of the dark veil with the power of education and the awareness that it generated across the nation. Women are equally adding to the country’s talent pool and helping in the country’s development.
An educated population is a healthy population
When people are well educated they understand the importance of health, hygiene and immunization. Educated people have better understanding of the importance of a healthy mind and body and are found to be more protective towards their health. This means the country will have lesser health problems and that will result in a more productive population.
The scenario in India
As per the census of 2011 India has a literacy rate of 74.04 with an impressive increase of almost 9 percent from the previous census in 2001. There has been a sharp increase in the female literacy rate too. Kerala stood at an impressive position with a literacy rate of 93.9 percent, while states like Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Arunanchal Pradesh need to cover up to come at par with the other states with respect to the literacy rate. There are many literacy campaigns going on in the country and these have helped greatly. Like the government’s mid day meal scheme has helped attract many students to school in the rural areas.
These are just figures and indicate the percent of literacy in the country what we need is real education. A well educated person who doesn't allow his daughter to have higher education is far worse than an illiterate person who works hard just to provide good education to his daughter and sons equally. This is edcuation in its true definition. And I am proud to be a part of a Nation where these changes are very much evident. We are taking our steps ahead with the power of Education. Education that will help us understand the difference between wise and orthodox thinking which still prevails in some parts of our nation. Education that will help us break the chains of biasness based on cast, creed, religion and sex. The day we attain education in the real sense we are bound to become a super power.
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