Do away with classroom hunger
In India, we need modernization of education. It is just not a need but an urgent necessity. We have to educate our young ones and equip them with knowledge. Then and only then can India become a force to reckon with. Only then can we overcome the multiple problems being faced by our society.
Food is one thing that is stopping the spread of education. Ravi is a bright student. His parents are poor, daily wagers working at a construction site. They are very vocal about the need for education for their son, even though they get a lot of job offers for their 12-year-old son. They want him to study hard as they believe it is with the education that he could buy a house like the ones they build but can never afford to live in. But despite that, his results are not very impressive. They give him full marks for dedication, they feel he is focused, the family atmosphere is supportive, still something is stopping his intellectual growth.
I guess you would have guessed it by now. It's hunger. Plain and simple. Let me tell you more about Ravi's schedule. He wakes up at 5 a.m. in the morning to go to a school, 25 minutes away from his house. His parents don't own a gas connection and lighting an angeethi so early in the morning can be a daunting task. Mostly, he does away with breakfast. Or just grabs a biscuit or bun. Then he walks over twenty-five minutes to school. Just imagine, you walk almost empty stomach for twenty-five minutes or so and then sit down to learn algebra, grammar, politics, etc.
Hunger is stopping the growth of Ravi and thousands like him. We have to stop this. We need to give them good quality, nutritious food so that they can learn well and be prepared to compete in the world. How sad it is that just for a few chapatis or some dal, he may not be able to achieve his goals.
What can be done here? First, we need to create awareness. We need to spread awareness so that people come forward to help. It does not take millions to help. You can just contribute a tiny sum, a meal for a day or volunteer to make a difference. Another thing that should be done is to take the Mid-Day meal scheme for school children away from govt control and make it more society controlled. Daily, we hear of so many incidents of poisonings and rampant corruption. So the money is there. All that is now needed is the will, the will of the educated middle class to come forward and volunteer to help run these schemes better.
Once we combat these challenges, what will be the impact? A better, advanced society of knowledgeable individuals. People who are ready to deal with whatever that is pulling our society backward.