Over years many great personalities have painted their own idea of how India should be. One such person is Mahatma Gandhiji.
While Gandhiji addresses India as his Karmabhumi (land of duty), his way of life sings his love for the mother land. Today, looking at the drama on coalition government, that has been showcased in the state, his “India of my dreams” looks only like a dream. It is very true when he says that India is a nation that has retained its ancient institutions. He also lays out that these treasures of ancient institution are overlaid with superstitions and errors. But today’s India and its values are overlaid by a lot of other things than just superstitions, that we truly need to dig deep to scrape this overlay out. I doubt if digging would suffice. ☹
He mentioned that India would stay the pride of his heart and he was wedded to her for he owed everything to her. He indeed dedicated his life to the service of India through the religion of non-violence. He beautifully says he clung to India like a child to its mother’s breast, for he felt he got all his spiritual nourishment from her. This simple man dreamed for an India in which there would be no high class and low class of people, an India in which all communities lived in harmony, an India which is neither exploiting nor being exploited. And he goes on with his list, finally stating that he would not be satisfied with anything less for his mother, India. Looking at the paths Indians are on today; with education and medicines being more a means to make money rather than a means of service; nothing looks close to reality ☹
Hope is not dead though. :) Between all these exists, an extra-ordinary school for rural men and women. Most of them being illiterate, are trained to become Engineers, Doctors, Dentist, Architects, Artisans in their own villages. No! I am not exaggerating; it indeed is a reality. And the man driving this into reality is a strong believer in the philosophies of Gandhiji, Mr. Bunker Roy. This man founded the Barefoot college, in the village of Tilonia, in Rajasthan with a mission “to provide basic services and solutions in rural communities and making them self-sufficient.” With literacy being of least importance, this college lays emphasis on ‘learning-by-doing’. Can you imagine, illiterate grand mothers being trained to be solar engineers and dentists?
Bunker in his own words says, Barefoot college is a place of 'learning and unlearning' where teacher is a learner and the learner is a teacher. He believes that India is full of people with skills, knowledge and resources, though not recognized as engineers, doctors, architects, and area experts; bring more to the communities than big businesses or government.
We live in an age where certified Engineers, Doctors or any professionals look down at clerical works, leave alone doing it; they even look down at people who are office or house helps. Answers to these thinking is Barefoot college. Bunker beautifully illustrates that certification has nothing to do with qualification. Training can turn even an illiterate into a qualified person. His words not just inspire but put you into deep thoughts.
You can listen to his TED talk here – Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement
Coming to me, I have seen people, be it husbands, mothers, fathers, boss or the female herself insisting or restricting woman to adjust; sometimes for the reason that she is not an earning member and other times for the reason that career for women is not as important as it is for men. I just can’t relate to such a thinking. Unfortunately, such is the mindsets of the people of our country. Yes, there are females who have challenged such thinking and found their place. But I am sure they have walked through the bed of thorns(not literally but more so emotionally and socially) to be there. So, for me, being a woman and mother of 2 beautiful daughters, my dream India would be
A place where a woman can keep her head held high, without the fear of it being forced to bow.
A place where her aspirations are not limited by domestic walls and more importantly narrow thoughts.
A place where she has the freedom to act and not being asked to stop without a clear stream of reason.
Giving HER the wings to fly by not clipping them, is this something more to ask for?