This article has been submitted by Akshita Das for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
He gently sobbed into his pillow, unable to comprehend what had gone wrong. He was the school topper. Yet, he didn’t make it into his dream college. Far away, in another part of this 68-year old nation, a spoilt brat got down from his R15, ready to celebrate with his friends and cans of beer. He always knew he would get in. Reservations! His surname had never been a symbol of shame for him.
The best time of the year for rag pickers is Diwali. While every other dirt-laden kid hunted for food and crackers, Vidya sat in a corner, gawking at the alien script of an old, torn book. She had never been to school. A few more years and she’d be married off, just like her sisters.
Hit by a truck, his last thoughts weren’t about friends or family. All he could think of, was, Organic Chemistry. He had planned on revising it after his 8 hour long coaching. “Two years and then you can enjoy a long, happy life”. His parents had been so wrong.
Three lives. Failed by one system. Stuck in an inescapable labyrinth, wronged by the prosaic scheme of caste-based reservations, lack of economic status, lax attitude of society and government towards education, the IIT-IIM fanaticism coupled with a lack of practical knowledge and limited number of good quality higher institutes in a country with a population of a billion, 41% of which is below the age of twenty!
Where do we plan on going with an uneducated genesis? Why is it that the state of government primary and secondary education in India is horrendous whereas the higher education system is reserved for the creamy layer? We are on a journey to an unplanned destination, with haphazard allocation of resources. We’re literally toying with the future of our nation! The challenges are millions, lives that are affected are even more in number. Our education system has a long way to go for it to ensure justice in the field of learning. To ensure justice to all the chottus who are out there serving tea instead of being engrossed in books, the guddiyas who are married off at a tender age solely because they were born with a vagina. But when man is void of everything, the one thing he can always count on is hope. I firmly believe that dreams are more powerful than reality. That hope always triumphs, as long as we are dedicated towards the cause that we believe in. There shall be a day when all men shall be literate. One day, together, we’ll get there. One day.