It is a very simple scheme – kids from the weakest sections of the society, who are studying in the not so great environments of a Government school, are picked by teachers every other year based on a test. The kids’ parent could be a helper in a garage or a peon in an office. 30 students in nursery and 30 in CLass V. Nothing special except the school they get to go to is one of the top three private schools in New Delhi. Springdales School.
These kids are given free education and are given free books, uniforms, medical aid and other facilities. By Class XII, these kids are completely integrated within the school environment. When they give their final HIgh School examination, they can take the toughest of Indian competitive exams confidently.
These students have gone on to become lawyers, doctors, teachers, Engineers, and even a Rhodes Scholar.
No politician ever came to innaugurate this scheme and as far as I know no celebrity ever gave any prizes to school or these children. In fact, that there are some students who are from the weaker section is never even mentioned anywhere. For most part no one really even knows who is and who is not amongst those 30 who joined in the earlier classes. The integration is complete and seamless.
How do I know all this? Because, Springdales is my alma mater. My entire schooling was done there. And although I was not one of those students, I did know many who did in our classes who had been absorbed under this scheme.
This scheme is not based on religion, it is not based on caste but has a simple criteria – economics. And it has worked perfectly so far.
India has been cursed by caste and religion politics. The lower castes want reservation in every institution of high education when those seats are taken by the already rich amongst those groups. Now even Muslims and other religions want reservation. The irony is that despite the cacophony of the politics and religion/caste arguments, reservations in education have failed spectacularly!! Because they do not PREPARE a child for education.. they merely award a person based on his/her birth. That is never helpful.
At the end of the day one has to perform in this world to succeed. Anyone can keep arguing about the injustice to one’s forefathers and the minority status, but in the end, money and power never go to the one who has more money. They go to one who knows how to use them! And reservations have one big damning result.. they DO NOT TEACH! The beneficiary is not prepared to go for higher goals. He/she is rewarded for something he/she never accomplished.
The best schemes in this world are those that you have never heard of. These are the schemes that made the most difference. The ones we like to argue about, however, never change things. They are fantastic coffee table conversations. That is the plight of the poor in this world. Poverty and deprivation are best handled as coffee table subjects by those whose hearts beat for such subjects the most. Nobody wants to change things. After all what will be served with drinks next weekend? A decision the intellectuals fear the most.
So poor must die and the food must rot… in fact it must be MADE to rot… so the intellectuals can fight to the end seeking the right of rich as well as poor to sleep under the bridges…. live in the slums…eat one meal a day…. and die unheard.
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