"Education is the movement from darkness to light"– Allan Bloom
Simple words but so profound in their meaning. For India to continue on its path to glory, these words need to now become ingrained in every Indian mind.
India is all set to celebrate its spectacular growth in GDP. The country would be amongst the fastest growing nations in the world. However, at this point of time, we take a step back to see if this growth can continue for long. Yes there are other hurdles like infrastructure, fiscal deficit, etc etc. But one of the biggest issues is education.
India is home to the second largest population base in the world. Of this over 40% fall in the age bracket of 0-24 years. To educate this huge population, the government has allocated 4-5% of the country's total GDP. Is this adequate? Is the government doing enough? Point is that yes the government is doing its bit but it is just not enough. Being able to sign one's name is literacy not education. Developing skill sets and broadening the horizons of the students is what would contribute towards making a better society and in turn a better nation.
Unless this important hurdle is overcome, India's growth will become bumpy in days to come.
Realizing the importance of education, Wipro's Chairman, Mr. Azim Premji, has given a new dimension to philanthropy. A foundation set up by him, focuses on ensuring and improving education for the young minds in Karnataka. The best part is that Mr. Premji himself is committed to the foundation and has recently donated 213 m Wipro's shares out of his own holdings towards this noble cause.
The foundation does not donate funds and shift responsibility towards NGOs for doing this. Instead, it implements the projects on its own. Rather than setting up new schools, the foundation has decided to focus on improving the existing schools, especially the government schools. It has a trained army of experts who go out and train the teachers and officials who are already engaged with the students. The best part about the foundation is that it is not run by an NGO but instead is run by someone who has been marked by Mr. Premji as 'potential Wipro CEO material'. The co-CEO of the foundation, Mr. Anurag Behar, had helped grow Wipro's infrastructure solution business from US$ 30 m to US$ 300 m in four years.
What Mr. Premji is doing for the education of the country, is commendable. We hope that more CEOs take cue from him. Maybe when the private sector joins hands with the government, the education system in the country would truly improve and the country would truly prosper.