This 800 words essay was written in response to the Mera India Bridge the Gap Essay Contest. It was very hurriedly written (not at all a scholarly attempt) in less than one hour and comprises of my creative ideas on how to achieve the various social goals in India. It did not win any prize needless to say. It will be useful for anybody looking for an essay on topics like Corruption in India, poverty eradication, education, gender disparities, women’s environment etc.
Millennium Development Goals: How should we deliver on these promises?
Millennium Development Goals (hereafter MDGs) are to be achieved by 2015 and it is an uphill task unless the world community fires on all cylinders. Scholars, Intellectuals and members of the civil society have written and worked endlessly on the MDGs, the needs and gaps and the strategies to achieve them. This essay is a creative attempt to delineate some strategies to achieve the MDGs in India given the urgency. Let’s deal with the issue blow by blow.
Eradicating poverty and hunger
Here is what needs to be done, among other things:
- Kill corruption because corruption kills everything else! It is thanks to corruption that government programmers are not able to deliver at the grassroots level. Students should be suggested in schools to question their parents in government employment on whether or not they take bribe. Corruption and the ‘Sanskritisation of corruption’ is India’s greatest bane!
- A culture of helping the poor should be initiated. The PM, MPs, CEOs to begin with, can announce that they will donate ten per cent of their income per month to the poor because they have more than what they need.
- The Prime Minister can observe a fast on Mondays and ask the people to follow. The food saved should go to the poor. One Indian PM in the past has probably even worked on this idea.
Achieve universal primary education
- Erring school teachers and principals should be identified and punished.
- Government Schools should be strengthened for an image makeover and efficiency. MPs and CMs should set example by sending their children to government schools and publicly announcing it. On a lighter note if children and relatives of MPs and MLAs begin studying in government schools, the school management will itself improve for fear of inviting the wrath of netaji!
- It should be made mandatory (and not just a mere fundamental duty which cannot be enforced in courts] to educate their children.
- Domestic discrimination against the girl child should be made a criminal offence.
Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment, Maternal and Child Mortality
- Ministers, Industrialists and MPs can marry their sons and daughters without any pompous ceremony and dowry. This will encourage the middle class and the poor to follow suit and adopt a simple life style.
- The civil society organizations can build pressure on Rahul Gandhi to marry [whenever he does marry] to marry in the simplest ceremony [in a temple or court] spending less than 50000 Rupees! This will set a wonderful example before the society.
- Young people can choose to boycott their friends who take dowry in marriage. The first question that people should ask whenever somebody marries is whether or not any dowry was involved. People can choose to boycott marriages based on dowry considerations and conspicuous consumption.
- The MPs, industrialists, MLAs can adopt girl babies from orphanages thereby setting an example before the society.
- Kids in schools should be encouraged to question their parents when the father or males in homes do not share the domestic workload.
- Woman and Child Health care should be areas where the government and civil society organizations should give a lot of attention.
- Population control should be encouraged. Also, MPs and MLAs can announce that they will only adopt babies and not biologically procreate [or will not produce more than one baby].
- MPs, Film stars, Industrials should be encouraged to appear in advertisements claiming they want a girl baby.
- Film Stars like Shahrukh and Salman can ask the countrymen that they are not welcome to be their fans if they take dowry in marriage!
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
Among other things, tremendous awareness is needed on the HIV front. Politicians like Atal Bihari Vajpayee who will soon die should be asked to make a personal sacrifice for the awareness on the HIV front. He can be convinced to die for the cause. In other words, when he is dead the media should be told that he died of HIV! Imagine the impact it will make. More than one billion Indians will know in less than a minute about HIV and the prevention strategy. The real story may be told some 20 years later and Atal will be the real national hero. Similar strategies can be adopted with film stars, Industrialists etc.
Ensuring environment sustainability and Develop global partnership for development
People should adopt greener technologies in day-to-day life. All influential people whom the people and media look up to can set the example. People can adopt strategies like car pooling, cycling, recycling etc. for sustainable development. Actors, just like Shekhar Kapur, should question the government when it dillydallies on the question of climate change.
This was in a nutshell some creative strategies needed to achieve the MDGs. Needless to say these should be seen and employed in conjunction with other popularly debated strategies with the policy makers and members of the civil society for achieving the MDGs.
See these too:
1. Read an essay on education in India on this blog.
2. Visit my latest pictorial blog: Qutub Minar