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RE:Umesh on Education

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Hi Parth, 
In your message :
"...The third option is to do the best we can with the data we have. They
may not be perfect, but they are in most cases a better guide to
understanding the OVERALL picture, which individual experiences are
generally unsituted. National policy requires undestanding of thenational
situation. ...."
I totally agree with you on this count.I do realize that national policies
ought not to be based on individual experiences, and extensive surveys and
(as less generalized as possible) statistical information should guide our
"...It is the "average" of local/personal experiences.This is the option
that "social scientists" usually adopt...."
Here again, I have to agree with you on what methods social scientists
adopt, and perhaps that is the best they to guide a public policy that works
for all.
However,it is here that I find this "average" experience of India to be a
little tilted towards those who read poverty in books (I mean real poverty
where people literally don't have food to eat and all else follows), or find
a glimpse of it while driving by some suburban slum areas or see some TV
reports of poor villages rather then a balanced picture that you would want
in order to do justice with whole of India where such a policy intends to
bring results. I wish there were surveys made in villages where roads don't
go. People really do live in different worlds. 
I wish I were a social scientist. I wish I had a chance to help conduct such
surveys and direct some of the interviewers to places where people, who I
see as helpless poor, live. Dr. Shah, I am talking about remote district of
Dindori & Mandla in MadhyaPradesh where India still lives in its mideaval
times. Also my job assignments have taken me to places in Bihar such as the
areas adjoining the Oil refinery of Barauni, and Southern Uttar Pradesh
around Mirjapur some years ago, and I didn't see picture there any different
either. I, for a long time, refused to accept this picture and always wanted
to believe that things must be much better elsewhere, but had to change my
opinion after seeing things stay the same or go worse over time in these and
other areas that I keep some knowledge of. 
If all the surveys you see tells you a different tale, then there is either
no surveys made in the India I see and know, or I don't know India at all
any more. This interaction clearly shows a shortcoming on my part, and that
is, I have not done the homework in collecting any statistics that would
support my personal experiences and points of view. I wish there were some
local people, such as someone from my own hometown participating in this
debate (but then I won't have the complain that I have now) who could spend
some time and collect the statistics that somewhat represent the people I
talk about. 
I know my arguments don't go far enough to convince people who want to talk
on the basis of statistical surveys (and I am one of them). But when this
survey doesn't represent even 1% of the people I grew up with, then it is
going to be impossible for me to accept the conclusions thereof. Instead, I
am willing to sit in the sidelines and watch people make proposals while I
wait for some surveys/studies that come any closer to my experience, and I
am not alone in waiting, cuz, afterall, my hometown, my district, and almost
the whole world I spent my childhood in, is still waiting for the fruits of
freedom to reach them even after fifty years of so called freedom. 
Thank You.

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