John of Garland
John of Garland
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question- - A learned man.
A question by 13-year-old Venkatesh of 8th grade in my first ever class as an English teacher hit me hard with the reality of farmers' plight in the country.
Analepsis of memory back to 2015.
First-ever experiences are always cherishing. I started my journey excited to meet a group of tender, young and energetic kids in Aadarana shelter home. Aadarana is the home for orphaned, needy, neglected and destitute children. Home comprised of approximately 60 kids ranging from classes 1-10. I was assigned to take up 8th grade English.
I looked at the hall wall clock. Ticked 10 AM.
Me: Good morning kids!!!!
Kids: Good morning sir!!!!!
Me: Am Adarsh. Your new English teacher. How are you?
Kids: very good sir!!! ( Shouting in unison).
A great note to begin the class on high energy. There were 9 kids in the class comprising 6 boys and 3 girls. They sat in three rows of three each. I happened to conduct the ice-breaking session first. I asked them to share their name, places of birth, and favorite subject. Saikiran, Venkatesh, Guru, Lakshmi, Shailaja, Lokesh, Pavan, Balu, and Sunitha were all born in remote villages in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Everyone has got a story.
Cause it was my first class I chose to pick up a very general topic.
Addressing the class I asked a question -"Why do we have to learn English?" I was happy listening to the answers i.e. To improve communication skills, To face interviews, etc. I then wanted the kids to have a walkthrough about the dictionary, its history, and how to search words-meanings. Holding the Oxford dictionary in hand, I started to share the historic facts.
John of Garland is the one who coined the word dictionary and has written the first dictionary in 1220. I was at my own pace in sharing the information not noticing the diminishing interest level in the class. Venkatesh and Saikiran were not paying attention in the class. Venkatesh who was sitting beside the window and glancing at the vast paddy field was speaking to Saikiran pointing out.
Me: Venkatesh, what happened? Why are you not paying attention? Please ask me if in case you are not able to understand anything.
Venkatesh, who got a spark in his eye looking straight into my eyes asks- "Sir, why should I know the name of the person who invented dictionary?"
Adding to it he says that his father is a farmer whose name none of us knew. Striving day and night not able to meet the ends, father ended up his life committing suicide.
Farmers' suicides in India refers to the national catastrophe since the 1990s.
Venkatesh is the voice for all those single-parent kids seeking answers wandering as urchins, choosing to be child laborers, and unfortunate questioning the system.
A doctor wishes his son to become a doctor, An IAS wishes his son to be an IAS, A businessman wishes his son to lead his business, but it is not the same case with a farmer. If 20 million farmers harbor the same thought not to involve their kids into farming, the apocalypse is soon going to begin its strike fair & square. I look forward to that day where farming is not considered insignificant. Take a pledge to plant a thought in your kid to treat farming as a way of life.
Farmers are an important part of our country. After all, India is an agricultural country. We depend highly on our farmers. However, unfortunately, the case is that farmer suicides are a common issue in our country. Each year we see so many cases of these suicides due to a number of reasons. The government of India needs to take measures to prevent this issue. We need to save our farmers from this misery as they are the ones who feed us. Even the citizens must be aware of this issue and not pay them less so they suffer loss.