On January of 2015, I and Jagdish went to a remote village school in Jharkhand in order to promote astronomy and astrophysics. It was our first experience to organize an event for village students so we were not aware of the kind of audience and age group of kids we will be dealing with, but somehow we prepared presentations, which were supposed to be shown to them.
It took nearly 30 minutes from the nearest city Chandil to reach there and to our amusement we find the school with poor infrastructure. School was more or less empty with nearly 30- 40 students combined who have been told that we will be doing magic show.
“एस्ट्रोनॉमी शो बोलने से कोई आता नही, जादू का शो है इसीलिए आये है”, teacher told us who helped us in organizing the event that if you will tell that it’s an astronomy based educational camp, no one is going to come. So you should better tell that it is a magic show to convince them. Shocked by this, we somehow started our presentation with of course no response initially but gradually with the help chocolates we were able to raise nearly all of their hands .We ended the event with a drawing competition and distributing chocolates to the winners.
Since every action has a response so I thought after the event what change we made or how much our effort worth. For the children, it was not more than distribution of chocolates though some of them may have got interest in astronomy but I doubt. So where was the impact? , impact was on us ,I and Jagdish figured out that this kids basically need good quality of primary education more than astronomy. In India where education is regarded as right of everyone, we found out these kids totally untouched by education though there was a school but that wasn’t well enough to make them compete with the children outside. Moreover it was not actually a single village in India; there are thousands and thousands of villages with this problem.
Actually it was not government which can be considered as the sole responsible for such situation, the problem is with the human mentality, which earns more than enough and still demands more. If each one of us takes the responsibility of increasing the education facilities of our neighboring villages just by spending a couple of hours a week or so to spend time with these kids we can make a good change than सर्व शिक्षा अभियान[Education for All Movement] and on the matter of teaching astronomy we came to conclusion that we will be doing more of practical works than showing presentation in case of village kids, we are in fact collecting money to purchase a portable-mini telescope that we can easily take to the remote villages for changing their view towards education and astronomy.
This outreach was a lesson for all of us. Hope, you find an impact on you too and if not I would suggest you to visit a village school and find out the reason behind the fact that India cannot be the superpower nation until it takes steps at individual level.
Friends, no type of government has power to structure of our country, but instead, the power is with us that how we respond to the government’s actions. For example, the prime minister’s स्वच्छ भारत अभियान [The clean India mission], every citizen is aware of this movement, but only a few are active towards it. Until and unless we don’t form a change at our individual level, we cannot change the form of our country.