Jitesh Kumar

One Life to Live

Surya – The Illiterate boy

Yesterday I was sitting late in my office waiting for some response from my client, It was around 11:30 PM and I saw a boy working in office sweeping the floors. I called him and offered chair to sit down. He gently accepted the offer. He was a smart and good looking person. I was curious to know about him, his life style, the problems and other things going on in his life. Initially I was doing so just for passing the time. But suddenly he said something and I could not believe what he said. He said that he never went to school, not a single day he has spent in school. I could not believe this, a young man of just 23 years old have never went to school!!! Is it still happening in India? Oh, My God!! is it true?

I tried to know the reason why he could not go to school. Because I had heard that in India every villages have schools nearby. Government is offering free education and all that. So, what is the reason that this smart boy could not go to school? The boy has tears in his eyes when he was telling me all this. And So, I have very pitiful feeling in my heart. The boy told that he belongs to some village of Punjab but now his family has shifted to near Chandigarh few years back. In his family, he has his mother, a younger brother who is studding in 10th standard, two sisters who are married now. Now he and his mother are two earning members, with these collective earnings they can run the house expensive and sending his brother to school.

The boy told me that he started working at the age of 11, he started helping a milk man in a village who was giving him Rs 300/- per month. Later, to earn more money, he and his family came to city, then he started pulling a Man-rickshaw. Although, he has taken rikshaw on rent where he must pay something to rickshaw owner on daily biases. Even after one year, he could not earn enough money to purchase his own rickshaw. Then he got a job as a sweeper in a mega-mall. He is kept moving where-ever life is taking, still he is working as an office boy. He said that he wants to have his own house of one room and one kitchen where he can keep his mother happy.

The boy could write his name in Hindi and English, but he can not read or write anything else. His eyes were begging for help that he wants to learn read and write. His behavior was very ambitious and mature. But he is paralyzed with his inability i.e. illiteracy. I found him analytically good. I want to help him, but don’t know how to help him. He is 23 years old and works in nights. I am sure there will be thousands of boys and girls in India who could not go to school due some reasons but still want to get educated. Does Indian government have any special program for such youngsters? How we can help such people? Please share your ideas.

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3 Comments

  1. I read your story and want to inform you that if you can guide him how to read and write an language he can do after that try to guide him 5 th class book if he can perform better fill his form 10th class private study and 12 th also with this way he can graduate under 30 of age.

  2. Son of Paul

    There are a lot of youtube videos that teach the letters, how to spell basic words, and phonics. While they are generally for much younger people, I think that would be a good starting point, and that he would be able to catch on fast. From there, I think he could likely move on to books and self-educate.

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