I hope you all must have seen movies like Slumdog millionaire, Salaam Bombay and Traffic Signal highlighting the tragedies of young kids living in slums. Although, Indian economy has shown a respectable growth, it's really distressing and disgraceful to know that 30-40% of our population still is slum dwellers.
There are almost 49,000 slums in India with two million people residing at 800 slums in Bangalore. Slums communities are mostly affected with the problems like poverty, sanitation and hygiene but the most dangerous is illiteracy which comes not as choice but as born compulsion due to utter poverty.
We all know that "literacy is one of the important attribute for social development" Although there are many policies like SUP (Slums Upgrading programme, slum resettlement plan) runned by government and NGO's for the upliftment of the people at slums but not much had been done for their education.
Mrs.Shukla has been one of them who realized their agony and dream to create a life woth living and had ease their problems by extending the education
Hereby, I am going to talk about Shukla Bose who had been serving the corporate world for the last 26 years trying to make the organizations profitable and how she turned herself into the field of service of the society and education proving the world that "Nothing is impossible" if we try and initiate something.
PARIKRAMA-The Humanity Foundation was started by Shukla Bose in 2003 with an intention of spreading knowledge and literature in the world by teaching students right from the beginning and completing the cycle of their education till the end. She took the initiation of removing the myth about the superstitions and the narrow mindedness going on in the slums and the rural areas. She is trying hard to inculcate into them the true measures and steps of leading one's own life in this chaotic globalised world.
When she started with a thought for such a noble cause in her mind there were many hurdles like "When will she start? How many schools will she start with? How many children will she get? To what extent will she replicate?"were never ending. Over and above it the numerical values of the numbers of illiterate students in India which she had quoted in the link were completely mind boggling.
She started it all by convincing parents in the rural areas and then established her first school with 165 students over a rooftop of the building inside the slums. There is also a kind of a mind set in the people of the rural areas about, working from a very small age and helping the parents in their work. Studies were not given any kind of priority. She made a plan from the very beginning to start the English schools as she did not want her students to be anyway backward when they go global. Now she has 1,100 students with four schools and a junior college.
The biggest achievement for her was when all these children studing in her schools reverted back and gave all those outputs which she had been working on through all these years. Some of their children have also taught their parents about how to sign. How better it can get. Her schools have now all the faculties from MIT, Stanford, Berkley and Indian Institute of science. One of her students have been chosen for the Duke University talent identification program and is sent to IIM-Ahmedabad. Such a great achievement for Shukla Bose!
She also gives a light on how the teachers have their monthly salaries and not attending the school even once a year. It is just shocking to know from her that 90 percent of funds are spent on teachers salaries still there are highest teacher absenteeism and few of them have not even visited their school even once in the whole academic year
There are a lot of people around us who think of their selfish purposes and think a lot about the money making ideas right from the start of their carrier. We all think about the job opportunities and how to get one own self to reach the new heights of success. But after reading all the works and thoughts of Shukla Bose I feel that whatever she have achieved is even more above money and success.
Whatever she is doing is totally for the society and trying to explore the talents present in the children of the rural areas. She proved the world that "Every kid in this world is born with some special talent." You just need to explore it and show them the correct direction to go in. She never thinks about her selfish purposes and also left her corporate carrier just to dedicate herself to the increase the literacy in the rural areas. All this blessings she must be getting from all her students and parents is far much more than we are doing for our own purposes and this is what, not everyone can achieve in their lives.
Even our institution had made such groups who comes in each of the hostel rooms every month and ask for something which we can dedicate and give we can for the children of the laborers working in our college like clothing's, stationeries etc. We also have made groups that teach these children. If we even collect a rupee every day from each student and faculty then it will help a lot for making their future.
After all this discussion I will like to end up saying that we all are lucky to get all these things in our lives and make good use of the resources we get and try and help to the highest extent possible as every kid have some talent, might be more than us but are devoid of the resources they need. I will heartily like to thank Shukla Bose for establishing PARIKRAMA for this noble cause and trusting in the instincts of the students that they can do something and also for creating an awakening in the society to try and do something that will help a lot of people to eradicate the myths from the society and make a better place for the poor to live in.