Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real life and reel life

Now and then I have been reading about the two child artistes Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail in the papers. The director of the movie Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle had set up a trust and the children were to get a stipend of $ 120 a month. This was done to help them get a better education and hence a better future. Later it was reported that they were playing truant and their school attendance was around 27% and 37% respectively. They were told that unless they attend school regularly or atleast have 70% attendance they would forfeit their stipend.

When I read this article I wondered whether this would be possible at all for these children. First and foremost we must understand that these children were living in the slums unnoticed. All of a sudden they came into limelight because of the movie that got them world attention and not to mention the Oscars.

But over and above this what is their motivation level? The combination of poverty, uneducated parents and the surroundings they live in definitely does not help them in achieving that motivational level. I wonder if they would at all realise the importance of education at this stage. Infact elders might consider using them as a lucrative option in making some easy money thus leading to their exploitation. Moreover having got the taste of earning money by acting, who would like to sit and study hard and pass exams? They need immediate rewards. I feel sorry for these children whose life has seen a steep high and a steep low. Stark contrast between their reel life and real life isn't it?

Our education system should be designed to motivate children to learn (and not study). This holds even more significance when we talk about getting children from the lowest strata of income level to enroll into schools. For most of them, getting two square meals a day is a priority than getting educated which they might consider a luxury.

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