As a growing teenager, it took me a while to realize the seriousness of poverty in India. At first I just used to look at the beggars on the streets while to school in the bus. But later on, I noticed some students in my school who’s family’s were not able to sufficiently provide for them and they had trouble speaking proper English or fitting in with the other students because they looked at them with condescending eyes. This is when I realized that if I look into the matter a little deeper, maybe I could understand this situation and try to change how things are.
I researched for a while and discovered that majority of India lives in poverty. I also found out that majority of the youth of India’s youth does not get education because of living in poverty. In order for India to progress faster, we need our youth to get a full education so we can avoid having unskilled labor in our industries and firms. Although the government of India has a policy saying that all schools in India have to reserve 30% of their seats for underprivileged children, these children can’t fit in with the rest of the school crowd and have problems in speaking English.
This made me think of ways I could possibly bridge this communication gap and help these children fit in and learn English. I started a trust fund where in Underprivileged children learn life skills, computer skills and English. There were different departments for each of these things and within a time period of 6 months there were tremendous changes in these children. They now had access to the Internet and could stay connected with people, enhance their social life and also keep track of how the world is progressing. These were major things preventing them from engaging in conversation with other students.
The main challenge for these children was becoming fluent in English, but surprisingly they passed it with flying colors and today they can converse fluently in English. School life for them has definitely become better. Not only are they socializing more but are also able to understand what the teachers teach in English. The institute also funds the education of these children. I feel happy to have made a small change if not a big one. I feel if more institutes like this can be set up, the impoverished youth of India can get a better quality of education and this will eventually help remove poverty and the concept of unskilled labor.
From my work I was able to conclude that sometimes things look milder on the outside but you can never see the severity of the issue until you look deeper. Looking deeper motivated me to work towards giving back to my community in whichever way I can.