One day filled with curiosity I walked through the woods away from the hustle bustle of city to a small slum. I had never visited a slum before that evening and to my shock I saw the whole atmosphere was filled with the smell of smokers,  adding on to that environment were young children about 4to 5 years of age who were malnutrition  and were starving to find food, no one was there who was looking up to help them. When I walked further I found a group of children who were wearing tattered clothes and were carrying bricks and cement and to my astonishment those children were hardly 10 to 13 years old and were forced to do labor. Anticipating that something profitable should be found towards the finish of the slum  I strolled off and was soon dumbstruck when I saw young fellows whom we term as ‘today’s  youth’ were sitting , drinking and betting. I saw the reality of one’s life practically, from childhood to becoming the youth; what one does in the slums and villages and to make you all aware I would highlight the fact that 70 percent of India’s population lives in rural areas, about 276 million people in India still are below poverty line and 1 million children in India are child laborers. This fact is capable enough of making us all realize that how pathetic the condition of our society is .And  if we dive more into this thought we will finally reach to a conclusion that the root cause of all these problems is illiteracy.

William S boroughs rightly said the aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts but of the values. Literacy is not only related to reading sciences, studying mathematics and having a degree rather the true essence of being a literate person is  to be aware about the surroundings and to know the basic skills and values that one will accompany during the journey of life. If we search on the internet and try to find the meaning of literate then Google will state the meaning as ‘able to read and write’. But I feel that only by being able to write and read and having as many degrees one wants; a person cannot be called literate. According to me there is no worth of a person who has done BSc Eng Chemical but still doesn’t knows how to be a good human and a better citizen and contribute his best towards the development of the world. So according to my view of literacy I feel that everyone must be literate so that they can be aware of the right and wrong things and can make their lives better.

If a person is literate then he/she will be an active citizen and will spread awareness about important factors to their surroundings. Also a literate person is considered to be an asset for the nation because a literate person turns up for a job thereby increasing the per capita income, a literate person will understand the importance of education and will ensure that all his children are educated, a literate person will not indulge into social evils and crimes as he would be aware of its ill effects, and finally a literate person will help others to get educated thereby increasing the literacy rate of our nation which will in turn result in an increase of better quality citizens who can contribute in a good way to this world.

Imagine that the whole world is filled with people who understand the true meaning of unity and peace, no riots occurring in the world, each individual understanding the importance of sustainable development and everyone being happy and spreading happiness. No doubt this will be the world which nelson Mandela, mahatma Gandhi had wished for. And this will only be possible when everyone is educated and knows the right ways of living life.

When was the best time to ponder upon the global problem of illiteracy? Ten years ago? The second best time is now. It isn’t too late if we start today if not our generation but the future generation will surely be benefited when all are educated and how many of us don’t want to see the world reaching unexpected heights? Of course no one. So to shape a new world and educate everyone I feel that we all must start at our personal levels by teaching our friends who can’t afford to go to schools or maybe try teaching the current problems to our grandparents or we may start teaching the child of our maid or cook. Because these small steps can only lead to the way of success. Even if three persons teach one uneducated person then the whole world will become educated. Malcolm X once said “Education is the passport for the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” So why not let everybody have its passport and make for themselves; a better and secure world?

One of the biggest issues which has to be resolved urgently and is considered a major problem in this world in ‘poverty’. We know that there are a lot of people who are poor, but has anyone ever wondered why people are poor? One of the major causes of their being poor is because they don’t have proper jobs which can give them good earnings or in simple words they are unemployed. They are unemployed because they are uneducated. If they everyone is educated then poverty will decrease.

Another big issue of nowadays are the ever increasing number of conflicts and riots. In every colony we can see people fighting over their religion, people are even burnt live because they don’t follow the religion one is forcing them to follow. This eventually leads to a mass conflict and results into death of innocent lives. If we impart the moral value of unity amongst people through education then the number of riots will decrease to a great extent.

So to sum up my 1,049 words I would like to quote the thought rightly said by Nelson Mandela” Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. It is not a useless paper to be burnt in a flame, it is not a weak truth to be trampled in fame, it is not a pawn to be used I a game, it is indeed a divine blessing to gain. It is ‘education’.

Author BioANIKA SINGH, 14 years Girl from AHLCON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (Class 10), Delhi. 



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