Dreaming through poverty: Children from rural India deserve meaningful careers that matter

Publicado: 15 noviembre 2023 a las 12:03 am

Categorías: Noticias Oceanía

India/November 15, 2023/By: Prisha/Source: https://www.wionews.com/ 

Children in rural India try to study using laptops. Photograph:(Reuters)

«It takes her two hours to get to her school in these hills,» said the person who was driving me around in a hill station nestled in Himalayas in north India’s Uttarakhand state. While he told me about the duration it takes her daughter to reach school in the small but beautiful Himalayan town of Kausani, I could see tourism brimming around me. With improving road infrastructure, the 440 km distance from New Delhi to Kausani could be covered by road in less than a day — making tourism to flourish, as it has been doing since many years now.

Home to more than 2,000 people, Kausani’s children are free to dream of becoming writers, singers, athletes, astronomers, mathematicians and so on.

But my driver’s response revealed the stark reality of education in the small town. Two hours is the duration his daughter must spend in covering the distance every day to make her dreams achievable. The accessibility to schools for children living in Kausani are reflective of the larger reality of far-and-few institutional access to education in the hinterland across India.

Education is a rigorous exercise. Its equal and qualitative access is integral for children to prosper towards a career which is not only fruitful but also enables them to show the world their genuine capabilities.

However, for children living in remote areas and especially those from impoverished families, the childhood dreams of flying high are generally broken by the challenges of their early youth. Financial strains become a key issue. But what remains unaddressed is the lack of guidance and quality education which can help them choose their careers wisely and crack competitive exams when they compete against children from the rest of the country.

Priyanka Ghumle, who is in her mid-20s and lives in Maharashtra’s Mainda village, like many others, had once dreamt of getting a government job and building a successful career for herself.

«We all dream to become successful in our life despite our … background. However, when we face reality and challenges, we realise how difficult it is to build a fruitful career. In our village, after we study till fourth standard, the family starts discussing if we must even receive education or not because of numerous social and financial challenges,» Ghumle told WION.

Career counselling – a rare opportunity in rural India?

Today, Ghumle along with many others is working with the Asuda Foundation to guide these kids to decide the best career for them and is helping them identify their abilities and even carve their dreams – even if that is of becoming a Michelin-star chef.

«In our education system, it is still possible to complete studies till 12th standard. But what remains a question is if we have the academic capabilities to compete with other students in college entrance exams even after completing our schooling,» Ghumle asked.

Speaking about the lack of guidance, she said, «Career counselling is something which is critically missing in the country’s hinterland. Children have no one to guide what they should pursue and how they should build their careers. Financial constraints also play a major factor in deciding the career, as many end up choosing the one which is better paying and has job security.»

The idea of propagating unconventional career options in India’s hinterland may sound intriguing. But it is likely to come with its set of challenges because of factors such as conservative mindsets and limited exposure to the rapidly changing global market.

Founder and CEO, of Physics Wallah (PW) Alakh Pandey, spoke about how this challenge can be thwarted and how a better future for such students can be paved.

«New-age skills training programmes serve as a powerful vehicle for breaking these barriers. By offering courses in emerging fields like data science, blockchain, and cybersecurity, these programmes introduce individuals to unconventional career pathways. In essence, these programmes not only address the difficulty of spreading unconventional career ideas but actively contribute to reshaping career perspectives in hinterland communities,» Pandey said.

To help Physics Wallah change the future of India’s education, social peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Rang De has entered into a partnership which aims to address the need for accessible and affordable student loans to receive top-quality, industry-relevant education.

«In its true essence, this partnership between Rang De and Physics Wallah holds significant promise in addressing the issue of accessible education in remote areas of our country. This collaboration aims to tackle two crucial elements that cause barriers in accessing education: affordable credit and access to quality educational programs. The collaboration between Rang De and Physics Wallah will enable deserving students from low-income backgrounds and remote areas by providing them with no collateral loans and help them get access to top-quality education through the residential programme,» spoke Smita Ram, CEO and Co-founder, of Rang De.



Prisha is a digital journalist at WION and she majorly covers international politics. She loves to dive into features and explore different cultures and histories of various places. She believes in journalism with a cause and books are her solace.

Source: https://www.wionews.com/opinions-blogs/dreaming-through-poverty-children-from-rural-india-deserve-meaningful-careers-that-matter-658551