Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do your bit

My previous post about education girls drew several queries, suggestions, apprehensions... that prompted me to elaborate on the issue.

I agree with the majority who opined that education cannot be the ultimate answer and that education should be a must for both boys and girls.

Education can only provide a platform for individuals to come up in life. It may not be the education that they receive in schools, but how they are equipped to face the challenges in life. Be it a vocation that they get trained in or their talents that are properly nourished.

Recently, I visited an NGO in Bangalore where they provide education to visually challenged children from poor economic backgrounds.
Mr Rakum, the founder who is also a karate expert, trains the students in karate and yoga along with providing regular education. They are given hands-on training in cooking, cleaning, washing and making pani puri and bhel puri as well. His whole idea is if the education they get there from kindergarten to post-graduation fails to earn them a job, they can rely on any of these extra activities to make a living. It sounded wonderful to me.

And, ensuring the well-being of women should of course, come from grass roots. Education is just one factor that will help women stand on their own feet. Many families are left in the dark just because the female member is not earning.

Take the example of alcoholic men (umpteen in Kerala, my native, where I lived till I completed my post-graduation) who are the only earning members in their family. Their families will have many stories to tell — a bright student who was pulled out of school and ended up as a labourer, an artist whose talents never saw light, a blessed singer who never recorded his/her voice... The future of the entire family would have been different if the wife was earning.

Veena (whom I had mentioned in my earlier post) could have given a better life to her child if she had a job. I understand personal loss can’t be compensated with education, but her pain would have been less if she could bring up her child on her own after her husband’s death.

Parents should feel the necessity to educate their girls. It would be of much help if the families become aware of the heinous crimes committed against women. If they are aware of it, of course, they will never want their daughter to pass through it.

I think it is of no use debating or researching on it. Let us be practical and achieve some results. If you can, pass on the message to at least two people who you know, be it your housemaid, the security at your apartment or your driver. If you can help at least two kids nurture their talents, our purpose is met.
Thank you all

I dedicate this post to my amma who never shared with me her dreams of marrying me off , instead who always told us (my brother and I) that making us stand on our own feet was her dream...


Smitha said...

I totally, totally agree with what you are saying.. Every girl/woman needs to be financially independant today - and if we can all do our bit - then defintely the world will be a better place for the women of tomorrow!

Sudheesh Bhaskaran said...

Good post.
Education and financial independence is not the solution always. And girls and for that matter boys also should be trained to face hard realities of life. It should start from home. The education system also should be changed in this way.
It is also required to expose children to outside world and so that they will have feel of it. There is no much use of being overly protective.
Who can be the best master than experience.

Anonymous said...

What I liked best was your point that we should instead of debating, be practical and do something. If we have tried and brought in some awareness in at least a handful of people, it's great.

More than trying to do something on a huge scale, what often works easier and better is on a smaller level with fewer people. The cumulative effect can be huge, more than what one person single handedly can achieve at one time.

Every year, for my son's birthday we sponsor lunch at Rakum School (yes, the same place about which you had written, but the one in Indiranagar.) When we moved in to our present house, we hosted lunch for only 25 very close people and we had bigger lunch for the students of the Rakum School.

Pradeep said...

Sorry Yamini, the previous comment was mine. I'd fogotten to fill up my name so it cane as anonymous.

vilakudy said...

In all FAIRness, this is your best post till date. Yet, there are some discordant notes. If a girlchild is not safe in Kerala, she is not safe elsewhere in India. Kerala is the only state where women outnumber women. In every other state, women are far behind -- literally and figuratively that is. In other states, girls are being killed even before they are born. While some call it female infanticide, some say it is just a ritual. Having said that, I understand that women grapple with troubles in every step in life. From my personal experience I guess a man never tortures a girl/woman, if he has a sister. I am on that distaff side, Yamini.

vilakudy said...

To err is human, to forgive is women. That line..should read...women outnumber men.

yamini nair said...

@ Vilakudy, I totally agree with you that women are more safe in Kerala than in any other parts of the country. I never pointed to insecurity to women in Kerala in my post. Whatever women face due to lack of education or awareness is an evil all over the country. But I can't agree to your point that a man will never torture a woman if he has a sister. That is not something applicable to all men. That is purely what you personally feel being a brother. Along with appreciating your respect for women, let me tell you, people like you are very few. I know many men personally who have sisters but have scant care and respect for other women.