I know an old man who is very creative, and unlike other creative people he always likes to share the techniques and tools of his creation with other people around him. With his experience of teaching, he has created innovative techniques to teach Hindi to beginners. The methods he has devised are more useful for adults, who already know spoken Hindi, but cannot read or write. He decided to test his techniques by teaching the rickshaw-pullers in the area. He went to the roadside and asked them to join his class. In first go, all of them refused or gave some excuse. Now, he started camping on the roadside itself to show his teaching models to people who stayed on the roadside. With his consistent efforts, some people joined his roadside class and agreed to come every day for learning. His small class began. Magic started happening. Within a span of fifteen days his pupils gained knowledge of Hindi alphabets. After about a month, a rickshaw puller came to him and said, “I have come to know, why people were often making fun of me”. He further said, “I can now read the name written as a tattoo on my hand. It has been written as Rum Singh and not Ram Singh”. (Readers are requested to imagine how Ram Singh will read like Rum Singh if an ‘aa’ sounding maatra is removed from the alphabet ‘ra’ in hindi).
This episode inspired many other local rickshaw pullers to join the Hindi class. That is the magic of literacy. Literacy missions in India need people like me and you to join them and take a vow to teach at least one person every year.