Why supporting the education of the underprivileged is NOT Philanthropy

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NEW DELHI: Education is nothing but a people building exercise for the society of tomorrow. So, if the common denominator of education imparted today is not good enough, the society of tomorrow will reflect this rot.

Unfortunately, the ills of poor and deteriorating education, though far-reaching and all encompassing, are more intellectual than real. The situation, somehow, lacks the urgency, in terms of people realizing the disease and disaster it will invoke.

Further, there is a smug sense of achievement among us when we know that we are able to provide privileged, exclusive education to our own children. Wider the gap between the kind of education we are able to provide our kids and that which is available for the masses, bigger is this sense of achievement.

Which is the reason why, even though research shows that education is the most popular charitable cause with donors across all age groups, we the educated, intelligent people from higher strata of society do not show any alacrity and participation in reducing this education divide.

The fundamental point we are missing is that the vast education divide is the root cause of all socio-economic ills against which we want to shield our children in the first place.

We don’t realise that our kids are going to live their lives in a society born out of this vastly divided and skewed academic milieu. Even if we ensure the best of education for them today, thus giving them a solid differentiator, it will not help if the social fabric itself is tattered. They will have money but no security. They will have position but no voice. They will have amenities but no health. They will have privileges but no freedom.

Is this a life we want to bequeath our children?

If not, we must understand that we need to play a part in reducing this education divide by trying to improve the baseline. We need to participate in initiatives focused at this in whichever way we can.

Says Nitin P. Khanna, Founder of Bharat Learn, “We’ve been waiting for decades for only the Government & its institutions to fix this issue, but when there are 24 Crore kids to be educated, in 20+ languages, it needs more than them. It needs us as well. It’s time for India to rise for educating Bharat.”

And we need to realise that this participation is no charity but is in our own enlightened self-interest. The purpose of this video is to introduce this new paradigm shift in the way we all think about supporting education and to draw people into taking action.

Bharat Learn, an NGO, is bringing Solar-powered Smart Classes to remote, rural Government schools, using an innovative Film Based Teaching Methodology (FBTM®) aimed at dramatically multiplying learning outcomes of students. Their crowdfunding campaign, which has been gathering great steam, is an opportunity for all of us to take affirmative and surefooted action to improve the general level of education in India.

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