Remember Hariom Jindal? The advocate with a heart of gold who started a free school for slum children in Ludhiana five years ago. Doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe you would remember him as the lawyer who made headlines after his RTI revealed the waiting time at any highway toll plaza, beyond which any car can pass for free. This spirited Good Samaritan has again delivered something groundbreaking that might pave the way for a revolutionary change in the school education system.
In his new book, “Empowerment Through Knowledge”, Hariom Jindal has demystified the Indian administrative system to disseminate the basic idea of democracy among students and help them grow up into responsible citizens. “My little students who have never attended an authorised school can now explain to you what democracy is or how to pay taxes,” Hariom shares proudly with The Logical Indian.
Once ragpickers, now diligent students
Hariom, an erstwhile businessman, gave up his profession at the age of 43 to study law in order to integrate into the intricacies of the largest democracy in the world. Still, the plight of the weaker sections of society continued to haunt him. “I used to see children from slums working as beggars or ragpickers. It pained me to realise that they will never find social acceptance as important citizens,” he shares.
At the age of 50, Hariom started his school in Dairy Complex area of Ludhiana with a headcount of 12 eager learners, which has now reached 150 – all between 6 and 14 years of age.
“Normal education in India starts at around three. So, my primary concern for these children was where to start, keeping in mind their diverse ages and lack of any exposure to literacy,” Hariom continues, “It took me a lot of effort to devise an education scheme for them, which will mainly focus on raising them as mainstream citizens.” Unlike the standard school education system in India which focuses on theoretical learning, Hariom’s idea revolved more around practical needs in life.
A For Administration to Z for Zeal
Discarding the unquestioned norm of A for Apple, B for Ball, Hariom tutors his students about how a democracy functions, how they can avail and protect their rights and how they can grow up as true human beings. He has encapsulated the entire essence of his idea in his book “Empowerment Through Knowledge”, where one finds A for Administration, B for Ballot Box, C for Constitution, D For Democracy and so on.
Each chapter gives a detailed idea about the historiography and present-day implementation of these concepts. “My book even has H for Happiness or Z for Zeal, which tries to tell the children the true worth of life,” Hariom informs.
Published on August 2018, the book has already started gaining attention for its much-needed content. “One of the top five schools in Ludhiana have decided to incorporate the book in their syllabus,” Hariom shares. He has also approached the government to include this book in the central board syllabus. “I have sent representation to the Prime Minister and the Education Minister. I have also written to the Chief Minister of Delhi considering his laudable approach to improve the education system. I am still waiting for their reply,” he adds.
The Logical Indian take
At a time when our education system has come under the scanner for its limited practical relevance, a book like this is the need of the hour. “This book is very useful to empower the underprivileged, neglected and ignorant, as it provides a significant solution to major problems such as overpopulation, corruption and crime in the society,” believes Hariom Jindal. The Logical Indian hopes “Empowerment Through Knowledge” can truly empower the future of our country.
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