A child’s education starts from his or her mother at home. In this context what Gandhiji said was true. For he said, “If you educate a man, you educate ah individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate an entire family”
In India, most people are not aware of women’s rights and thus they still think that girls are inferior to boys. The birth of a girl is not desired. It goes to the extreme of taking away the life of female fetus which we are not supposed to do.
The blame of bearing a female child is put on woman and thus she is ill-treated by her husband and in-laws but we know that the sex of the child is determined by the father.
According to the conservative estimates, prenatal sex determination and selective abortion accounts for 0.5 million missing girls every year. This has been going on for the last two decades.
There has been tremendous progress in the field of information technology, media, science, etc.
But unfortunately there has not been matching progress in the area of education of the girl child, or the rural adult women. Female literacy and education has a direct impact upon the overall development of a nation, and its population growth.
The UNESCO studies show that the female literacy in the developed countries is 96 per cent, in developing countries 55 per cent whereas in the least developed countries it is 27.9 per cent. Education plays a major part in the development of a nation.
Countries with high level of basic education do better economically. If India wants to be one of the developed nations it must concentrate on education and especially on female education. The root cause of all problems facing women is related to education.
If all women get educated, then all the problems like female infanticide, dowry, female suicides, domestic battering, malnutrition of women, child marriage and other related atrocities would get vanished from our country.
Education provides on essential qualification to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural functions and improves women’s socio-economic status.
At every age and level, education enhances the intellectual, social and emotional development of women, and enables them to meet their basic needs of daily life. It brings reduction in inequalities in the society.
Mahatma Gandhi referred to women as a noble sex. He said,” If she is weak in striking, she is strong in suffering.” He has described women as the embodiment of sacrifice and ahimsa. Women in no way differ from men. As men are generally weak in showing love, women are generally weak physically.
Women are strong in showing love, sacrifice and compassion. Usually if we ask a child, “Who do you like, the one who corrects with love or the one who corrects with beating,” the child without any doubt would say of the one who corrects with love.
If so, why do we neglect the education of women who are probably the main cause or at least equal cause for running the society with their love, concern and sacrifices? Do they not totally commit, adjust, cooperate and collaborate to the given task from their own high authority?
We are very proud of India as our motherland. We are happy to name the rivers under female names. We are joyful to tell that our mother tongue is Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, etc. Having been conceived in our mother’s womb, having been born into this world through her, having sucked her milk, having been protected by her at the time of suffering and dangers, having been loved by her all the time, we overlook her when we are grown up.
We see other women of her quality as our objects. We ill-treat them and do moral injustice, social injustice, religious injustice, cultural injustice, political injustice and economic injustice.
We often forget that we all come from the wombs of women. If they ever thought, they could have aborted or killed us through very many means. We are alive because of their unconditional love towards us.
A woman can love even the terrorist who happens to be her son, which no other being can do. Having got this wonderful woman in our world, how come we are ignoring the education of the female children is a question mark?
“Are we doing this purposely or without our knowledge?” The answer is, we are doing it purposely to maintain the superiority of the male domination. We, the men should have an open mind to welcome the changes in our society of educating the female children, if only we cooperate, we can have all the women educated in the near future. This would enhance the social status of our Mother India.
If a female child is educated, wherever she goes and whichever field she chooses to work in, she will promote education. In the same way every woman when she gets married and when she begets children, she will know what is to be done at what stage; it may be for bringing up a healthy child or for sickness.
They also would promote education for all their children through which the family ultimately benefits. If a girl is not educated and gets married, she would do anything without reasoning and harm herself and her children and at last the family would terribly suffer.
As she is not educated, she would tend to think that education is only for the male and not for the female and thus she would ingrain in her daughters the idea that they are inferior to their brothers. She may promote education only among her sons and not for her daughters and the daughters would automatically carry on the work of their mother without education. And when they get married, they become the chip of the old block.
Article 45 of the Indian Constitution says: “The State shall Endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.”
Sixth All India Education Survey states:
(i) 94 per cent of the rural population is served within 1.0 kilometer by primary schools;
(ii) (ii) 85 per cent of the rural population is served within 3.0 kilometers by upper primary schools;
(iii) (iii) of the total 8,22,486 schools in the country, 5,70,455 and 1,62,805 are primary and upper primary schools, respectively;
(iv) (iv) of the total 15,39,06,057 pupils enrolled in all the schools, 9,70,29,235 and 5,40,71,058 are children enrolled in primary grades and upper primary stages, respectively;
(v) (v) of the total 41,97,555 teachers, 16,23,379 and 11,29,747 teachers are employed in primary and upper primary schools;
(vi) (vi) 84 per cent of the primary and 89 per cent of the upper primary schools have pucca and partly pucca buildings. Though Union Government has created so many opportunities for female education, it has failed to show 100% result out of these schemes and programmes. This simply shows that the Government is less bothered about the implementation of its schemes, may be because of the male dominated politics. Some of the obstacles for not showing 100% result would be parental education, economic background, lack of will among the parents to provide higher education for girls, inadequate transport, facilities, shortage of colleges and universities in the rural areas, fear of girls’ safety, urbanization and modernization.
The Government alone has not the sole responsibility. Parents too play a major role. Parents should always give encouragement for female education even if they are illiterate.
In order to do so we must educate them through street plays, cultural dances and songs in every village, by which they would become aware of their role in the female education and thus they would promote female education. Can we give education to all the women, daughters and sisters in our own family?
Can we begin to teach that women are not inferior to men in any way in our families? Can we treat them with equal right in our houses? Can we allow women to exercise their rights and authorities at home without any restriction? If one female child is educated then it is sure that a family is educated.
In all the families there are females, therefore, all the families would be educated, if all the families are educated then the female atrocities will be eradicated and women would be equally competent to the posts which men hold, by which they would be proved to have equal rights in everything as that of men.
Then perfect equality would be maintained between men and women. If all these go on smoothly then India would become a developed nation by 2015 in its social, political, economic and cultural realm. Unto that goal let us start educating female children.