I am back today after a two-day trip to my village. My first day there was mostly spent with a Mr. Mishra whose job is to set up free schools for tribal girls in that district. He is a very enterprising man just entering his forties and also very knowledgeable too. He was telling me about the new school he had set up in our village.

“Building a school and getting teachers and other functionaries is the easiest part of having a school here. It’s getting students to study that’s really difficult. I had to employ five men to go around neighbouring villages to gather students. We managed to get about thirty girls who agreed to attend school. But after the first day the attendance dropped to fifty percent.”

“Why did that happen?”

“The girls said they felt hungry and could not sit for such long hours at a stretch. So we decided to give them a couple of breaks of fifteen minutes. We also got our school registered in the Free Afternoon meal programme. But these girls never stopped complaining. They did not want dal and rice everyday. Let me tel you my friend these girls come from families where they only eat two times a day. Still I hung on with them and had them egg and chicken given on alternate days. I am ready to do anything my friend only if they agree to study. But these girls don’t seem to be doing anything remotely associated with studying. After a month also, there were lots of them who could not start with the alphabet.I told them that they won’t get good marks and one asks me “Sir what shall we do with marks? We can’t eat them or live in them.”Then these girls made a group and told that it hurt them to walk all the way to school and they were too tired to concentrate at night. So I arranged a vehicle who would collect all these girls to school and drop them later.”

“That is so good of you Mr. Mishra. Now these girls must be studying and …”

Mr . Mishra cut me short.

“These girls are nothing short of scoundrels. They came to me again in a group and told they can’t study. It’s not that they were not given opportunities. They just can’t study. None of them wants to try even.”

“Then, what did you do?”

“I called them for a last lesson last Tuesday. My friend who was in the local theater group agreed to help me out. He and two of his colleagues staged a play in which they showed an illiterate girl being exploited in the market: buying overpriced stuff, not being able to know and identify weights and so on. The girls realized then the purpose of education. Next day there was full attendance.”

You just can’t force things on people even if it is for their own good. Self-realization is very important if any such endeavour has to take a practical shape.

And education needs to be backed with purpose. Education without purpose is useless – similar to teaching a tribal girl The Theory of Relativity.



  1. yaaa… dis z nice..!! i really serious topic..i really admire tht uncle’s effort n interest 2 make education a priority..!!1 very gud…

  2. u're absolutely right here, man.. education widout purpose is indeed useless…n dis is tru not only for those people.. its happenin all round us.. most students dont kno y de're crammin all dat stuff, n wat're de goin to do wid dat.. its just dat de happened to b born in a society which promotes.. well, i doubt wheder "education" is d right word for it…but yes.. its good to hear dat people like ur uncle r still around.. PS: the theory of relativity is cool nonetheless 😉

  3. I don't think there is any education without purpose..what u learn, u must find a way to use it..the most imp lesson a teacher can teach her students is how to learn, and the practical application of what was learnt…the content has to be relevant, the sequence prioritized, as all the reviewers hv said, and the blog suggests…my only objection is to the idea that any education can be considered useless…yeah these girls can't be made to understand Relativity…but educating somebody is not merely bombarding them with information.. u hv to teach them the learning process, teach them how to get knowledge, and then how to use that knowledge..probably those tribal girls were not yet ready for book-learning…they needed first to be taught the importance of an education, then put on a diet of light non-book learning, and then finally taught that book-learning is faster and simpler than experiential learning. Thanks.

  4. msg showd here iz simply beautiful…its da real prblm in villages..ppl dont undrstnd da purpose of education…de dont undrstnd how much its imptnt 2 live in dis society… remembered smethng…i was on a shop of motor parts…a villager was handled a bill of sme Rs.2000 4 motor parts he had borrowd…guess wat he was 2 uneducated 2 check price of evry part or e1 carry a sum of dffrnt amounts…he just paid da amount sayin "BHAI SAHAB SAHI DAM LAGANA"…purpose of education is 2 avoid such thngs. ur writin was simple n meaningfull…keep it up

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