Yuva - India

What are we teaching our children

As social media has become a plinth where many social issues are raised and are taken to almost every individual of the country and wide, these platforms have come out great in the times of Covid.

Such an instance was witnessed when an IAS cadre of Chhattisgarh Awanish Sharan took to his Twitter handle to let people know of the blabber NCERT teaches to the students of the primary section. The officer shared a snip of the Hindi poem namely ‘Aam ki Tokri’ (Mango basket) in the grade 1 textbook published by NCERT which read the girl in the poem as ‘Chokri’ and even in a way promoted child labor.

Controversy erupted soon after the tweet went viral against the author and NCERT for writing and publishing this content respectively. Netizens tweeted in agreement to the officer saying why sentiments of people are hurt now and then by publishing such content.

After the controversy stepped up the plinth as many tweeted in the same favor, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) steeped up with a clarification saying the poems are included keeping in mind the purpose of teaching local vocabulary to the children, make the learning interesting.

What did the poem mean overall?

The Hindi poem “Aam ki tokri” included in the class 1 NCERT textbook read a 6-year-old girl (‘Chokri’ as mentioned) who went to sell mangoes carrying it on her head. The said poem was written by Ramkrishna Sharma Khadar of Uttarakhand and the poem is included in the syllabus since 2006.

The word ‘Chokri’ is been used numerous times in the poem and the netizens were agitated on the same as the word sounded derogatory for a girl child. They were even accused of promoting child Labour as the girl was portrayed as a hawker/seller who goes out to sell mangoes carrying it on the head. The sole reason why the poem was criticized.

A 2009 batch Chhattisgarh cadre IAS Awanish Sharan had put light on the topic asked who was the writer of such derogatory poem? Also urged to exclude the poem from the syllabus.

This is not such one, numerous content writers are working as official authors for NCERT who writes the poems and content in a way that hurts the sentiments of the majority of the country. Few instances can be looked at.
1. NCERT describing cow as ‘mariyal’ meaning a scranny cow in class 2 Hindi textbook.

2. NCERT of class 2 of Hindi language singing grandparents as ‘Budha’ & ‘Budhiya’ with the line written as “Budha, Budhiya, Gajar hilana, pussy Chu chu..”

3. Portraying Hindu festival Diwali as a noisemaker fest on burning the crackers and making Eid a fest to celebrate the ‘halal’ (beheading the animals for the meal) and Christmas to be good as producing oxygen from Christmas trees.

To educate a child with the local language or dialect does not necessarily mean to defame any gender or use any derogatory word which hurts or might hurt the common sentiments. The education imparted must be filled with respect, decency, and kindness towards each gender, religion, and each aspect that portrays a human and its nature. As children are considered as wet clay and they can be molded in any way, we as a nation and the authors as the imparters must take into consideration that the children are made the best vessel to store the great values as an individual and a nationalist.

DISCLAIMER: This article reflects author’s view point. Goa Chronicle may or may not subscribe to views of the author

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