Everyday, the luckier rural children make their way to a school in the vicinity of their homes, passing by haphazard construction, and walking on uneven grounds.
If you are imagining a school with proper tables and chairs, whiteboard, and decoration, you might as well throw the thought out now. Some schools do not even have constant power supply and adequate water sources. If the students do not have a classroom, they are seen sitting in the open, reading books they have randomly taken out of their bulky schoolbags.
Without the need for careful observation, the school curriculum clearly lacks structure. However, we know that no matter how imperfect the education we are currently bringing, we are still finding a way to a literate future for the children.
Watching some of them study with intense concentration would make anyone feel like a million bucks.
Soon, it’s time for lunch – the midday meal, an initiative by the Government of Haryana to encourage parents to send their children to school. In most schools, midday meals are prepared in the dusty open, or in the shade with students studying just next to the cooking stove.
This definitely needs improving, but for now, watching the students enjoy their meals is enough.
During this break, students are also found playing in a playground. While most urban kids would not be content with the basic playing facilities, these kids are drowning in fun and laughter.
After school, the students return home to illiterate parents. It is our job to make sure that the learning continues outside of school. Not only that, whether they would go back to school the next day is sometimes unpredictable, as parents find an extra pair of working hands more important than education. Providing education to rural areas remains to be a challenge every single day. As we watch attendance rate fluctuating up and down, our only motivation is the children who are truly benefiting from our cause.