Wasted Literacy


I happened to be stopped at a red light today and got to see a very amusing sight. As is the norm in Hyderabad, the front row of vehicles at the red light had crossed the Stop line and were on the Pedestrian crossing. One of the beggars who is frequently found at the signal began to explain to the riders and drivers that they were stopped on an area reserved for pedestrians. He took a lot of pain to explain traffic signal rules to the people in the car.

As can be expected his words were met with scorn written all over the faces of the listeners. I was amused at the fact that the so called ‘educated’ people had to be told by an illiterate (most Indian beggars are illiterate) beggar about something they should have known and obeyed.

It is a sad, sad thing that we send our children for special classes and tuitions for subjects like mathematics, physics and chemistry, while totally ignoring two subjects taught in every school – Moral Science & Civics.

In this crazy pursuit of I, me and myself, do we ever stop to think about the lessons we are passing on to the next generation, a generation which will be even more competitive than ours is?

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