A schools' initiative from The Indian Express
Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. On the eve of Independence Day, we asked students to share their vision of India, to tell us where they would want their country to go and what its core values should be. It was heartening to receive so many entries and read what the students envision for their country. Here we publish a selected few.
I am proud to be an Indian and dream a lot for my beloved country. The first and foremost dream I have for India is to see her in category of most developed nations of this world. I dream of an India which is 100 per cent literate, where everyone is employed and there is absolutely no poverty. India has been a messenger of peace even in past as it was India that mooted the very idea of "Vasudhaiv Kutumbkam" (The entire world is my family). Hence, I wish India to play a leading role in establishing peace and tranquility across the world, which is really the need of the hour. Finally, I wish India to become world's biggest economic power with a major role in world trade, and focus on technology advancements, and a big leap in infrastructure developments.
Aashi Gupta, VII-A
Apeejay School, Saket
I dream of a developed India that is free from illiteracy and poverty, an India where the gap between the rich and the poor is within acceptable limits, an India that realises it's a free domain, and an India that is free from corruption. But presently this is not happening at all. We are still apathetic to the needs of the poor man on roads. We still splurge money on our needs, while the underprivileged still struggle to get a day's meal. This apathy and obliviousness to all social evil takes us nowhere. If we have to achieve this dream then we have to act now to build an India in which today's underprivileged youth succeed tomorrow and contribute to the growth of tomorrow, and a country where every educated soul understands the importance of giving back what he has taken from the society. And to realise this dream, we should unite and come together.
Tushar Nirwal XI-B
DAV Public School,Pitampura,
The essence of the proverb “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” will be established by Modi’s dream of a Swacch Bharat (Clean India). It is a big step in cleaning India and making it a beautiful place, attracting tourists from all over the world who would otherwise shun India for its filth, litter and garbage.
The grim situation had been captured in an advertisement on television depicting the Bollywood star, Aamir Khan. It highlights how a mother allows her child to pee in a public place instead of the toilet. This is then scorned by a foreigner. The ad is a subtle attempt to bring home the message to all the mothers of India to reflect on their misdemeanor and it’s implication on the image of India.
The basic right of a citizen to defecate in toilets has been neglected for long. This privilege not only protects the environment from foul smell and degradation but also prevents children from falling sick and safeguards the self esteem of a person who on nature’s call often exposes his private parts in fear of public gaze.
Modi’s speech on Teachers’ Day was an eye opener in terms of equating the drop out of girls from schools in Grades IV and V to lack of separate toilets for girls. The body clock, especially the onset of menstrual cycle and the urgency for privacy of girls has never been pondered upon. If a basic task of providing a toilet can enhance the retention of a girl child in a comfortable school environment, then it can have far-flung consequences. Since Modi rightfully opined that when we educate a boy, we educate an individual but when we educate a girl, we educate two families— her parents’ and her in-laws’.
His Teachers’ Day speech also spoke of the Japanese philosophy of making children clean their own school toilets. This philosophy will go a long way in inculcating a sense of responsibility and a love for cleanliness during the foundation years of a child.
October 2, Gandhi Jayanti is an auspicious day to launch this programme. Modi will launch the cleanliness drive in one of Delhi’s dirtiest slums, whose name has been kept under wraps due to security reasons. His oath and inspirational speech will most likely shake up the citizens to embark on the urgent need of spending two hours every week towards cleaning their environment. The release of a Swacch Bharat logo and slogan on October 2will add further colours to this significant event .The government’s cleanliness drive from September 25 to October 23, in which municipal and panchayat level offices will participate, will hopefully transform the mindset of a cross section of society. Modi’s dream to make India clean by 2019 will mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates praised Modi for his focus on providing toilets as a critical driver of children’s health. Though the earlier Governments had spoken about it but had not taken any real steps. The dynamism of Namo is sure to make the mammoth task a reality. Reaching out to each government and private school in every village and town looks daunting but the spirited zeal of our beloved Modi will eventually touch the chord of each girl child who would soon be given the privilege of a toilet and in turn give her the immense power and dignity to surmount the pressure of physical changes and remove it as stumbling block to her education and her dream.
The beautiful words of Charles Malik, “The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world’’ speaks volumes of the exponential impact of Swacch Bharat.
Image Source [http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e8/Slum_and_dirty_river.jpg]