Jai Bhim Network

Schools, Toilets or Temples?

2008.05.10. Categorized: Uncategorized   

Pardeep“Many people would rather die than think, infact most do.” - Bertrand Russell

Few days back The Endowment Department of Andhra Pradesh (Warangal) decided they will establish “Institute of Temple Management”, which would offer courses & will train people for managing temple activities effectively. Facilities like “Sarva darsanam” & ”prasadam” for Rs 5 will be provided at all the 34,000 temples in the state. (Indian Express 13th April, 2008) i.e. to visit temples for Darsanam you need to pay!!

I was wondering there are not even half the numbers of secondary schools in the state!! Total number of secondary schools in Andhra Pradesh according to National Information Centre is not more than 15000 (approx.) (about 10000 in rural area & 5000 in urban area)!!!

At every street corner we have built temples but not toilets or schools & afterwards killing each other on the name of same God!! How shameful it is!! India is an only country with so many Gods, well wishers (I’ll say fake Gods) but still poor in many fields!!

In Andhra Pradesh (South India), 52 upper primary schools were operating without a building in 2002, while in 1993, there was none!!!

The sub-Saharan Africa countries where people don’t even get enough food but literacy rate is higher (61.2%) than India (61%) - Source: 2000-2004 data from the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO (2006)!!

The Fifth All India Educational Survey (AIES) revealed that approximately 94% of the national population had access to a primary school within 1 km of their habitation (NCERT, 1990). But how many even complete primary educations? This is the main question. Isn’t it? Many teachers even register the names of students who never even see the face of schools!!

There is another worrisome part an emerging trend whereby children belonging to different social backgrounds are attending different kinds of schools. In Andhra Pradesh, there is a divide between the government primary school (GPS) located in the Dalit basti and the GPS in the forward caste hamlet — only SC students attend the former school, while the latter has very few SC students. The youth in the SC colony in the village categorically stated that even if children from the SC colony try to seek admission in the other GPS, they are discouraged and told to attend the school in their own colony. A similar divide was observed in Tamil Nadu between the GPS and the schools run by the Adi-Dravida Welfare Board. (From “Beyond the numbers” study conducted by Vimala Ramachandran)

A school (from Greek scholeion) is an institute designed to allow and encourage students to learn. What these Indian schools will encourage where students don’t even find teachers in the schools (A survey showed about 25% teachers were not present at school time & another half was busy with other than educational activities like making voting cards & doing some surveys)!! Not much infrastructure, not even buildings!! What will encourage students here?? But how shameful that our Govts are more concerned about the salaries of temple employees & in building houses for them!! Govts themselves don’t want to give much intention towards education as most of them consider this is not profitable business!!

How is India doing in terms of the common measures of schooling quality, namely school facilities and teacher effort? The Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE Team, 1999) was the first serious evidence-based study of the state of primary schooling quality in India. It is based on a survey of schooling facilities in 242 villages across five north Indian states Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh in 1996. PROBE found very poor school infrastructure, e.g. 26% of schools did not have a blackboard in every classroom, 52% had no playground, 59% no drinking water, 89% no toilet, 59% no maps or charts, 75% no toys, 77% no library and 85% no musical instruments (PROBE Team, 1999).

India’s economic growth rates have generated much hype about its general economic development. But has there been accompanying progress in indicators of educational outcomes? How good are Indian educational achievements in relation to China’s, the country with which India has habit of being compared? What are the most significant developments in Indian school education and what has been the impact of various education policy initiatives? There is big question mark over all these & many other questions!!

Build more Toilets rather than Temples!!

It’s to be kept in mind that most of the diseases/deaths are caused by polluted drinking water. Less than 50% of India’s population has toilets in their homes. Our cities look like extended slums, towns are filthy dumps and villages often smell strongly like excreta. It’s interesting to note Hindus consider cleanliness important but task of cleanliness impure, lower!! Don’t this contradicting?

In the book “Area of Darkness” (written in 1964) V.S. Naipaul explores an extremely dark account of India and details how dirty the country is. Naipaul in his books writes that elsewhere in world approach to villages through countryside is a pleasant experience but not in India where visitor to villages is welcomed by smell of human excreta. He observed it in decades of 70s but it is still true in most of villages in India.

The dry latrines and open fields that people are forced to defecate in are cleaned by “manual scavengers” – humans, 99% percent of whom are Dalits and 90% of whom are women, who are made to clean them with a simple broom and basket. In India, manual scavenging is a caste-based occupation carried out by dalits. The manual scavengers have different caste names in different parts of the country: bhangis in Gujarat, pakhis in Andhra Pradesh, and sikkaliars in Tamil Nadu.

The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act was enacted in 1993, but has proved ineffective in eliminating manual scavenging. The Act prohibits the employment of manual scavengers or construction of dry latrines not connected to proper drainage channels and violations of the provisions of the Act can lead to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of up to 2000 rupees. In 1989 there were 600,000 scavengers while by 1995-96 the number had increased to 787,000 (a 31.6 % increase in less than a decade). Similarly, there were 720,500,000 dry latrines in 1989, but by January 2000 the number had increased by 9,600,000. With the increase of urbanization, manual scavenging is increasing. More and more Dalits are compelled to take the job as the changing economic scenario is offering less and less jobs for them.

Gujarat’s C.M. Narendra Modi, glorifies this inhumane occupation of Dalits. In his recent book, Karmayog, Modi states, “Scavenging must have been a spiritual experience for the Valmiki caste.” He further goes on to say, “At some point in time somebody must have got enlightenment in scavenging. They must have thought that it is their duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods.”

“If this occupation is such a spiritual enlightenment experience, why doesn’t Mr. C.M. take up this job & get enlightened?”

All this & many other points show how much our own Govts are concerned on developing safe & progressing environment. Our Governments are sleeping; young people are yelling, future (children) is in dark!!

What we need!!

New localities with amenities like hi-tech schools, sanitation, water etc for better lives of people.

· More job opportunities for poor people those are involved in manual scavenging, so as they can quit this inhuman job & can live with dignity.

- More new schools, special schools for poor children those involved in manual scavenging.

- More scholarships for poor needy students.

- There should be made provision if any manual scavenging case comes from particular area, concerned authorities should be panelized for that.

- Free books distribution for all students.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell

“Education is the passport to freedom and liberty, the future belongs to those who take advantage of it TODAY.” - Malcolm X a US Civil Rights Leader

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth
- not going all the way and not starting. – Lord Buddha

“To change the world, give the world what you have. And serve the world with what you are.”

Pardeep

1 Comment:

1 | Insight Young Voices Blog » Blog Archive » Babasaheb Ambedkar and ‘the Dalits of Europe’

October 14th, 2009, 4:56 pm

[...] was 14th April 2008, when I wrote an article titled Schools, Toilets or Temples? On the same day I got an email from one Mr. Derdak Tibor, appreciating the article. He is a [...]

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Our Inspiration 1st Part

Our Inspiration (1st Part)
Jai Bhim is a cheerful greeting. Ten million Indians greet each other in this manner. They're the Dalits who are a proud community. They inherited an extremely difficult life. Their parents and grandparents and untold generations before them were outcasts in society. Even today they still encounter prejudice and experience helplessness.
For more than a millenium their ancestors lived as outcasts. People had a horror of touching them. Others even avoided being in their proximity as their shadow was considered polluting. If they went to school they were seated separately, If they were able to obtain work they did the dirtiest and lowest paid jobs.

Our Inspiration 2nd Part

Our Inspiration (2nd Part)
With their greeting of Jai Bhim they remind each other of their own successful revolution in 1956 for their human rights. Their cause is sacred. It inspires us here in Hungary, as we also face segregation and prejudice today. We would like to know discrimination is a thing of the past.
The dalit's story is like a fairy tale.

Our Inspiration 3rd Part

Our Inspiration (3rd Part)
Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there lived a seventeen year old untouchable boy in a big family, His name was Bhim. He was the youngest child among 14 siblings. He surpassed all of them because of his brilliant mind. A wealthy maharaj acknowledged his poverty and bestowed a scholarship on him. Bhim was aware that Indian schools were being discriminatory and practiced segregation. Therefore, he tried his fortune in London and New York where he achieved university degrees. He received the title Dr. Ambedkar when he returned home to serve his people as a barrister.

Our Inspiration 4th Part

Our Inspiration (4th Part)
Nevertheless, he was considered as an untouchable in accordance with the holy books of the Hindu religion. Therefore, he convened with his friends and publicly burned Manu's Laws, the Hindu holy script which bids the Hindu to hold the Untouchable in disdain. He became a human right fighter and his authority was constantly growing throughout the whole country. When India gained independence in 1947 he was nominated as law minister. He was entrusted with drafting the Constitution for the country. He wrote in it that discrimination is forbidden.

Our Inspiration 5th Part

Our Inspiration (5th Part)
In his old age the Dalit people addressed him with veneration as Dr. Babasaheb. He and his laws, however respected they were, he still stared frustratedly at the discrimination existing all over the country. He decided then to show the people a spiritual alternative. As our judgment is determined by our faith, he took an oath: "I was born a Hindu Untouchable. It was beyond my power to prevent that but I declare that it is within my power to refuse to live under ignoble and humiliating conditions. I solemnly assure you that I will not die a Hindu". He abjured hindu religion that had brought so much suffering and humiliation to the Untouchable people (today's Dalits).

Our Inspiration 6th Part

Our Inspiration (6th Part)
He studied thoroughly all the faiths of the world. He was seeking a religion which fitted together with reason, with modern science, and which declared liberty, fraternity and equality amongst people. He decided to follow the path of the Indian prince who lived 2500 years ago: he would be a follower of the Buddha. This was a decision of profound importance for the Dalits because the Buddha is venerated thoughout the world, and India is entitled to take pride in her great son. Dr. Ambedkar showed his astuteness: all of us can choose the way to be respected, we can change our fate for the better. Hundreds of thousands followed Ambedkar to the magnificent ceremony in Nagpur in October 1956. This was the rebirth of Buddhism in India. Babasaheb died six weeks later.

Our Inspiration 7th Part

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  • Sunil Sagar: Jai Bhim Janos it's great seeing Dr. Ambedkar's follower in Hungary. The Emancipator, The god of Small. What Millions of god and goddess of Hindu's c
  • Ashwin Jangam: Struggle for liberation of Mulnivasis When freedom struggle of our country was going on, we were dual slaves. The Arya Brahmin
  • Ashwin Jangam: Jaibhim Abhinav Thank you Abhinav for putting up a superb photos of our ancestors to know our peop
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