On wintery morning in December of 2011, I wandered through the narrow lanes of Kalipur Village, deep inside Bastar. Bastar, sadly, happens to be one of the most underdeveloped places in India. Deep inside the hinterlands of India, infested with political extremists of the extreme kinds, Bastar has not been able to keep pace with the growth of other parts of the country in Economic & Social growth indicators. I could see signs of development in the village – Good roads, some pucca houses and some motorized public transport as well.
I could also see the imposing building of a Government Public School. As I worked through the main throughfare of the village, I suddenly thought I heard kids chanting alphabets in unison. I thought I was imagining things. As I followed the source of the sound, I found a newly constructed room where small children were being taught. They were a lively bunch.
The sight of education being imparted in the morning on a regular basis to underprivileged children was indeed heartening. I am sure that improved educational standards in the remotest parts of the country will help our country to bring up the standard of incomes and quality of lives in our country and on overall basis.
On further enquires, I found that this school (and many others in the area) are run by ‘self help’ groups with some support from the Government. The teacher in this class, travels from the nearest town to the village and teach the children for few hours every day.
It was also great to see that there was no gender discrimination and both boys and girls were learning together.
As I walked away from the class, I felt really happy. I had seen seeds of real development and empowerment being reaped. These, I am sure, and many other similar instances, would improve the lives of people who are yet to benefit from the “India Growth Story”.