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And I stopped taking my education for granted!

Hello everyone, this is my first post on Jagruti. In my own life, short and therefore lacking in experience though it is, I've come across quite a lot of issues ranging from domestic violence, incest, obstacles to woman's education and career, dowry deaths, suicide, ragging etc and a host of other social evils that has bothered me or the people I know, friends and family. These are not stories that I read about in newspapers, but the truths in many modern and supposedly civilized homes. While growing up, I used to hear or witness these horrid stories and wonder what brings about the savage beast in man which leads him to commit such crimes.And most of the times, I regret to admit, I couldn't do much but remain a mute spectator because my family didn't want to get into any mess. I'm just 23 years old, and I've seen the worst kind of men possible. But I still think that the world is a beautiful place, and there's still lot of hope. I'm a medical student and while working in the hospital, I've encountered people from all sections of the society and their plight made me realize how vast the range of human suffering was. Seeing a woman lose her husband in a bomb blast, but still keeping strong to care for her injured child and many similar instances sure made me sad but most importantly brought me to marvel at the resilience of the human spirit, the ability to move on despite hardships. Hearing about is different, witnessing first hand the pain people go through every day changed my whole perspective of life. All of a sudden, missing a class picnic wasn't the reason to sulk for a day! There are things far more important than that going on. We all have faced tough stuff in our lives, and few stumble and take along time to recover, while the rest recover soon, and few never recover. All I want to do through this platform is share my experiences, what have I seen...and if it strikes a chord with anyone suffering from a similar problem and help them realize they are not alone and recover faster...I would feel I have made up for years of being a mute spectator. I also hope to create awareness among the rest of the people, so that they can help someone in need.

Today I want to talk about a 30 year old girl, M. She's from a village in Bokakhat, Assam and a distant relative of mine. Her father is a farmer and the responsibility of supporting a huge family has been a huge financial burden on him always. They are 4 daughters, and 3 sons one of whom died in childhood. M had always been academically inclined despite the hardships in her family. She resolved to study and get a good job and not get married at 14 like her elder sisters. Her parents were reluctant about her studying further than 8th standard, but her two elder brothers had always been supportive. The eldest brother, used to work in the farms in the morning, attend college during the day, and sell vegetables in the evening. And M started giving tuition classes at the age of 13! While growing up, they didn't have electricity in their village and couldn't even afford notebooks to write on what was taught in school. She passed her matriculation exams without writing a school note, and relied on her memorizing whatever the teacher taught!!

The elder brother got a scholarship and went off to study in Chennai. The second brother dropped out of college to sell vegetables and support the family. M told her parents of her decision to go to the capital of Assam to pursue her higher studies after her 12th board exams. They refused saying it was too expensive and she lost a year of studies. She didn't sulk at her misfortune. Instead she worked doubly hard, and within a year gathered enough money to fund her education for the first year of B.A in Guwahati University. She worked part time and managed to fund her education and also send some money home each month. It was then, in 2001 that I first met her. I didn't even know she was a part of our extended family. She used to come over to our home on weekends from her university hostel, and I got to know her better. I was astonished at the hardships she suffered while growing up and ashamed at myself for neglecting my studies at times. I got the best of educational facilities, and took it for granted, never even gave it a thought how almost 2/3rd of the population of India who live in villages, struggle day and night to get a good education. That was a turning point in my life, and I took an extra interest in my studies rather than mugging up before exams.

M has now completed her M.Phil degree and her elder brother is a professor at a reputed college by now. She too is trying to get a teaching job at college, but their is dirty politics involved and despite good grades she hadn't been able to secure a job. Jobs are being given in the college at her hometown, on the basis of how much money the candidates can give!! The man who is responsible for recruitment of new professors, straight away told her that the rates start at 3 lakhs and go up to 6 lakhs!!! She can never afford that money and as much as I know her, would never resort to bribing to secure a job. She has again taken up tuition while she's looking for a job. I feel so sad that with her qualifications, and sincerity, and ability to work hard...a person so capable...a person who has struggled all her life to study hard and get a good teaching stuck due to selfish bureaucrat officials who even today hampers the progress of deserving youths and go unpunished. What should be the action taken to bring justice to individuals like M?

-Quirky Mon.


Si_Lee said…
nice ..
btw food for thought .. i have come across this almost every time .. the usage of the phrase .. "even in these modern times!" why do we consider the old times to be worse for granted without having experienced them .. for all i know degradation is what has led to these sorry state of affairs and technology i don't think contributes to the development of a rational mind ...
the article though was really nice ... welcome here .. hope to see you more often ...
bondgal_rulz said…
A very nicely written piece there....It is heartening to know that your relative managed to study as far as M.Phil despite the hardships that she faced...

But instead of just taking things the way they are, I think she should complaint against the concerned person to the Anti Corruption Bureau, Assam.

Also she should file a RTI application asking for the details of the recruiting process.

This should hopefully solve her problem.
Tushar Mangl said…
Welcome to Jagruti, Mon.
I think, the best idea has already been lent out by Bond Gal here and the best response has been slept out by Sid.

I can only add, that yes, the most unfortunate issue that is plaguing our society is that people have such a difficult access to education and knowledge.

Very unfortunate.

But your relative can try for private jobs?
Is that a solution?
Thanks everyone for a warm welcome. I look forward to actively participate in this blog.

@Sid About the usage of the phrase "even in modern times", I agree that technology doesn't contribute to the development of rational minds, but literacy does or at least one EXPECTS it to do so. And such corrupted minds exists not due to lack of literacy or awareness but just due to their selfish money-making motives, and subsequently hamper the progress of many people who they encounter. You just can't help but wonder where did it all go wrong.

@Bond Gal and Tushar Thanks for your suggestions. We are in the process of lodging a complaint against the concerned officials. Let's see what comes out of it.
Richa said…
Welcome Aboard Mon!!

A very good post to start up with.

People go through many hardships in life and such stories- (yes we are blessed to find such things stories)give all of as a new enthusiasm to tackle our problems with.
Politics is everywhere. Go to any office, any school any college, every workplace has different levels and degrees of internal politics. The outsiders find it difficult to deal with and the insiders go used to them.
yes complaining against such people can be a way out, but i wonder if the Ánti-curruption Bureau'doesnt indulge in curruption itself..

And yes, as Tushar said, Private jobs can be available to start up with..
Si_Lee said…
@ Quirky

No dear not literacy but education ... and education need not essentially be written or the ability to read or to know current affairs or law ...

The point is ... the real issue is the nature of this society we are in and the degradation that has crept in ... i believe in our small way we can wipe out the degradation ... Not within the whole society but atleast our circle and if we set this chain of events we may not live to see the day ... but the day may be here ..
Shiv said…
Mon... Your post reminds me of a certain person I know rather closely who had to start from scratch.

I hope M reminds herself that bureaucracy is hardly a challenge as compared to what she has faced to reach where she is now, and lands up with a private job soon!

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