Students, particularly those who have crossed the teenage, can render great service to the country. The country badly needs their services but it is they who have to understand this.
They have reached an age when energy bubbles in them, maturity has begun to dawn upon their minds; they have the capability to think and discriminate the right from the wrong.
They are in such a large multitude — they are like a surging wave of a turbulent river which, if properly controlled and channelised can render the vast tracts of land green, but if left uncontrolled can work havoc and devastation.
They have to know their potentiality of gainful service to nation — but as of today, they do not seem to know it they do not want to know it. They shirk that responsibility which they should themselves offer to holder. That is the sorry state of affairs. Their energies wasted in wrongful pursuits; in organising strikes and ‘Bands’; in putting forth demands which do not concern them or could get solved by sitting and talking it out across the table. But soon they form a ‘mob’ and a mob has no mind of its own. It is led by frenzy and grows fanatic.
Reason and good sense never appeals to a mob. This is the scenario all over the country while problems frown on us or like cankers are ready to eat into the vitals of our body politic.
Therefore it is that students have to learn the lesson the right way that they are to be the rightful citizens of tomorrow; they are to be the torch bearers; are to be the harbingers of the new age; the new century that is knocking at our door. They can make history or mar it. What are they to do? — let them be told.
India has a rural base and most of our students come from that background. They know well the problems that people face in the rural sector. The most important of it is illiteracy.
Students have long holidays at their disposal. During these periods they can organise themselves into groups and take upon themselves the task of making five illiterate persons literate in their area. AH over the country if students take up this challenge and meet it, what a tremendous service at a vast scale would they render?
Religious tolerance and breaking the barriers of castes is still another greater social good that they can render. They can do it through words as well as through deeds. While in their villages during holidays they may organise meetings; they may arrange mass dinners they may usher in a new awakening.
At the outset they can face strong opposition from their own elders in this task but slowly and gradually they can persuade, cajole and convince them—the elders — into accepting that temples are meant for all; that all religions lead to the same goal- that the nation is more important than the caste’ community and religion. They can give examples and prove their point that soldiers fighting on the fronts to protect the country — all live together, dine together, they know no discrimination but fight for the common cause of saving the country’s honour. Their common aim and common goal makes them one.
Students, during their vacations can also launch sanitation drives in their villages; clean the drains and fill up the puddles; give the village a cleaner look — once they have done it, villagers would feel encouraged and inspired to keep up the task.
Students can even form a group to stage some street-corner plays against the social evils such as dowry or discrimination against the girl child. What may not be taught through words can be taught through performance — education through entertainment is the best way to teach. Preach as you play — that is the best way of teaching the ignorant.
Planting of trees and awakening the conscience of the village folk regarding the environmental pollution is one big task that students can perform.
Let them propagate the plan of one man or woman ‘one tree’ or one child in the village school ‘one tree’ — what a endows forestation drive can this effort bring about one planting a sapling or seedling give it hit me and let the tree be known by that name — it would be fun and fame but a great national service.
Those students who belong to the towns can carry out sanitation drives in their localities; hold free medical camps with the help of their friends among the doctors, hold ‘nukkad nataks’ to educate the people on social problems, carry out the literacy drive through night schools.
But all this can be done only if students realise their potential and have in them an urge and zeal towards service of the country.