Ex-militants help spread literacy in hamlet

22 March 2008
The Hindu

Not Specified: “I am of the firm belief that literacy is an important instrument in the fight against militancy. I was a bit educated and this was the reason why I soon realised that the path chosen by me was wrong. But many uneducated persons who went with me never returned or took years to surrender.” Low literacy levels have plagued this belt and as the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir made rapid advancement in higher education, places like this even lack a quality primary education facility. The only primary school in this hamlet is without a teacher. The last appointed teacher was recalled and the Education Department had assured the villagers that his replacement would be sent soon. This was two months ago. Aslam and his friends tried their best to fill this shortfall but there was no one to take the annual exam. “We are worried about the future of our kids as they would lose one year. Our pleas have fallen on deaf ears”, said Ramzan, a worried parent. Notwithstanding the difficulties in a militancy-ridden part, there is determination among the parents to educate their children. Militancy is still widespread in the belt and there have been many instances when the child could not appear for the exam because of this factor.