Of Tears and Smiling Kids:TFCNepal at Sarada Middle School

I have been sharing posts from TFCNepal(Tweet for Cause Nepal). They are a group of Nepalis tweeps, volunteering their time and effort to make a difference in their community. Nothing grand and fancy, there is no big name foreign donor or a Government Minister supporting their efforts. This is purely a grass roots efforts, born out of compassion and love.

On Sunday, July 24th, they distributed school materials to kids at Sharada Middle School, Tilganga. Aaakar Post has a posted pictures of the event, and a very emotional reaction. The pictures say thousand word and they reduced me to tears.

Picture of little girl excited to get a school bag. Her joy is actually heartbreaking. Shows you where we are (Nepal) as a country and where we are failing.

Students at this school come from poor background and can’t afford much. They are making it by, surviving. And yet, they are at school, with hopes and dreams. Their parents work hard to make sure that they get education and perhaps have access to a better paying job and opportunities in future. This is the spirit of Nepal, this is what keeps the country alive. Otherwise, years of turmoil, corruption and mismanagement have hollowed out the country. Nepal’s future lies in the hands of these children.

And yet, what are they getting? Are they Nepal’s priority? Thousands is spent on seminars and chat fests and inner city schools are strapped of resources. Neglect is so pronounced in capital, situation in villages and rural areas is even worse.

Compare what parents spend at private schools and how schools like Sharada are functioning, it is clear that there are two class of citizens Nepal is producing. The haves and have nots.Eucation was supposed to be the great equalizer, but with the wide gap in funding, resource allocation, kids at poor schools and being cheated by the society.

I am not advocating for a Government take over of education or calling private schools bad, but when a parent cannot pay for the best, it is Government’s responsibility to make it possible that even the disadvantaged have access to the better ones.

In 10 years, where will the students are Sharada school be? It their success or failure, that will determine Nepal’s future.

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