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culture series...

suggestions by readers on uplift
will keep adding them here as you send them...

Here's what Mr Gurnath Katakam ( suggests, especially with reference to controversy on reservations in colleges..

"The purpose of reservations is for social and economic upliftment. What we have in place was proposed in a time which might have been good enough then, and there were no protests then for the present system . Times and needs have changed. The present system has been a failure with limited success and there is a need for trying out a different solution for the issue of social and economic upliftment.

The bench mark for upliftment and justice is in the present and not the ancient past. Let's not ponder on the past : instead look into the future with a strong base in the present. We have a Sanskrit saying which is apt here..."Gatam Gatah".

Here are a few points of proposal.

I suggest the following "categories" not "castes" or other demeaning terms.

Category I :People living in forest areas, deserts, hilly areas, remote areas. There is a vast economic disparity between them and their rural and urban cousins. These populations are cut off from the outside world, with no proper roads and communications.

Category II: The downtrodden, those at the 'bottom of the chain' in rural and urban areas. Traditionally or otherwise.

Category III: The population which is sandwiched between the creamy layer and the downtrodden in the chain, in rural and urban areas. Traditionally or otherwise.

For all the above Categories, the following are the proposals for upliftment and justice :

Education is state sponsored. All the education till post-graduation from primary school must be free of cost for the students . All the needs of the student like stationery, text books , clothing, medical care, insurance is the responsibility of the State till class XII.
Where the schools or educations institutions are more than 3 kilometers away, transport has to be arranged by the state free of cost.

Students must be attached to a mentor who is responsible for their performance and upkeep.

State must provide cash incentives for students at the rate of Rs.250 per month till class V. From class V thru VII the stipend could be Rs.300 per month. From VII through X the stipend could be Rs.500 per month. When the students pass class VII, they should be given a cash incentive of about Rs.5000,which is deposited in a bank in the name of the student, may be a saving account for further use.

The students must be taken on excursion from time to time for the benefit of the students. On completion of class X, the students must be exposed to out of state excursions. On successful completion of class X, the student must be given a incentive of Rs.10,000,which must be in the name of the student for further use. Students who have enrolled in class XI and XII must be given an incentive of Rs.2500 per month apart from the usual facilities.

Where necessary, Boarding and lodging must be provided free of cost. Students enrolling in degree must be given an incentive of at least Rs.5000 per month till they graduate apart from the usual facilities. These students must also be given help and training and applying for jobs and also for post graduation. Tuition classes and Bridge courses must be arranged for challenged students with best of the teaching staff.

After post graduation these students will be fit to fight out in the open markets as any one would. This is the responsibility of the mentors. In effect we must have a very strong primary education.

Don't give anyone a tag of backward class or other backward class, Scheduled tribes or Scheduled classes. These tags must go.

Upliftment of these category students is of utmost importance. It is a national priority. All must contribute in this effort. We all must feel proud to be Great Indians, standing tall in this world.

The system in place must be evaluated for performance from time to time, incentives could be given to mentors appropriately. People with a social and national interest could be given the job of a mentor.

Mother tongue must be given a preference. Job oriented education must be given a preference. We must make leaders and achievers from here. Leaders in the local community must be involved at all levels for checks and balances.

1)In effect the education is funded by the state.
2)There must not be any separate hostels. This is discrimination. Where ever the above category students get accommodation, the cost of lodging and boarding is state responsibility. For category III, uniform and clothing must be self provided.
3)Infrastructure and staffing has to be on par with the best in India.
4) Mentors must have the passion for upliftment of students and sense of national pride. They have to trained from time to time.
5)The incentives can be increased where other issues are factors in.
6) Implementation is the key for success of this model or similar models.
7) The objective of this model is to take away the factor of caste totally. When we talk of a caste-less society how can we take caste as a measure?
8)This model roots out the evils in our present system and is not intimidating to any one.
9) Is surely acceptable to all, as this is not biased and will ensure level play.
10)Discriminatory and degratory words like backward, minority and scheduled will be totally out of context.
11) This is for the first generation and for the second generation depending on self-evaluation, if beneficiaries of this system feel their next generation needs this system it can be extended and can opt out of this system if they feel they are self sufficient.

The objective of this system is to uplift as many as possible in the shortest possible time. This can be a report card of performance for the mentors, educationists, community leaders (who are involved in this for checks and balances) and for the government, this can serve as a report card of their performance too.

Let us all take the challenge head-on and prove this a success. For good results, this system could in place for at least 10 years and results can be seen in an year's time. Let us all have and give an opportunity to live in India with dignity and pride and harmony. Lets us all have a reason to be proud to be Indians.

Send your reasoned views to be placed here... .
( keep it very short and decent, OK? dont have much space left. Also indicate on which point you are contributing. )

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