Benjamin Paul Kaila with a dalit root in Andhra Pradesh is a successful IT professional in Los Angeles. He is paying back to the society he came from. Kaila, 45, co-ordinates an annual scholarship scheme for deserving Dalit students in his home state. What a grand exemplary gesture even without much media glare! Half the scholarships are reserved for girl students and it is ensured that the Mala and Madiga sub-castes are equally represented. A Hyderabad-based organisation Devdas Adidela, and activist P.V.V. Rao is helping Kaila in his endeavour.
As a child in a Dalit settlement in a village in Guntur district, Kaila would walk four miles to attend classes in a Telugu-medium school. Living without electricity, water or sanitation, he eventually obtained a postgraduate diploma in computer science and worked in the IT industry in Hyderabad and Mumbai for a few years.
Why can’t others in US or back home who have gone to be member of creamy layer emulate Kaila’s example and help the students of their community who are not able to continue their studies because of finance?
I read this story in ‘Outlook’ and started thinking. Why can’t all the political leaders particularly dalit ones- Mayawati, Ram Vilash, and many others go out on a yatra all over the country, address the deprived class, and pass on the message that they must send all their kids to schools under ‘Sarv Shiksha Aviyan’? Do all the people at the bottom of the pyramid know that education is available free with midday meal and in many cases with dress and other assistance? Do all the students of deprived class know that finance is not a constraint if they do well in studies? How many of them know that banks are ready to finance the study if they perform well?
I don’t think if any one today does perform well in schools and collages and wishes to continue his higher studies the finance is constraint. Every now and then we get some media news about the type of help the people in society are eager to provide to the deserving needy students. But I strongly feel that the message has not reached to all parents and the students in our country. I wish someone the government starts a campaign on line of polio plus so that none remains poorly educated in the country.