27 February 2009

Building knowledge based society – A minute a day

The gap between rich and poor people is increasing widely in India. The rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer (last year is an exception where rich people become poor due to financial meltdown). It is the poor people who are struggling to get access to basic life needs – food, clothing and shelter. Irrespective of the inflation (14.4% or 3.3%) or crude price ($140 or $45/barrel), it is the farmers who take the loss and price beating. The people in developed countries are eating as much as five times more than any developing nation. We can see people living in poverty line as a micro issue confining to individuals and families. But these individuals make states and India. These people have the ability to turnaround India and take India to next level – Super Power in the region, if not THE SUPER POWER. Yes, the poor people have that capability. It depends on how, we, the people of this country take efforts to erase the poverty line.

When we were kids we should have heard a story of this sort. There were number of doves flew to specific part of the country for food. The owner of the farm wanted to catch all the doves and so hired a hunter. The hunter put a net in the field to catch the doves. Somehow, the doves came to know about this and strategize to escape from this. So, they masterminded to fly taking off the ground simultaneously and in coordinated fashion. We need something of this sort right now.

One of the asset and trump card for India’s growth is our human resources. However, many economist and researchers have pin pointed that though we have abundance of human resources, the amount of skilled worker is very less. While theoretically it may be possible to put forth some policies and allocate funds, the implementation is going to be a very biggest challenge. Also, if we are going to dependent completely on government, the vision will be very far from achievable.

It may be sound simple and even foolish to some people. If you can spend five minutes per day for the sake of this country, for the prosperity of the future generations, for achieving the visions of visionaries, to fulfill the dreams of many freedom fighters, we can create a knowledge based society. We need second freedom fight. On 15th August, 1947, we got freedom from slavery. But we are yet to get a freedom for creating equal society providing equal opportunities for both rich and poor. It is 5 minutes a day and if we sum up, it comes around 30 days per year. Go to a school or college where people are in need of your knowledge. Share with them, discuss with them, and try honestly to make the gap between the knowledge level rich and poor narrow.

When we do this, we need to keep in mind that we are creating a knowledge based society and suddenly on one fine day, the poor people may be poor in terms of wealth, but they will be wealthy in terms of knowledge. When the have that knowledge, they acquire the skills on their own or with the help of others. How about this? All the students who are graduating from colleges get a job or become entrepreneurs. When we reach such state, the consumption of India alone drives our growth as everyone will have buying potential. So, the knowledge based society is such a powerful idea (coined by many visionaries including Dr. Kalam).

When we have that, the gap between rich and poor will be narrowing and after sometime the gap becomes meaningless. It is easier said than done. We have two options now. The first option is blame the politicians, blame the government and not doing anything. The second option is to do things slowly but gradually. The incremental change can be a transformation.

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