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Yes, he is slow with reading English, and very hesitant while speaking it, thanks to his less-than-lousy Kannada medium education so far at the free local Government School. But he understands what you say in English completely.
He and I work on his reading skills 6-7AM every day. He’s a hard worker and he’s improving fast. What’s more, change topics to Maths, and he will dazzle you with his mental capacities. He is also a terrific athlete.
His father and I are looking to place him in a private English medium school to fill out these gaps. Since Global Discovery Academy has no schools yet in Bangalore, we did the rounds of all the usual tier 3 schools in Whitefield, Bangalore, that his financially challenged family can afford.
Now, Just for laughs (and to scope out the schools he can apply to through the Right to Education act or RTE quota next year), we made a quick trip to a substantially more expensive school in Whitefield – Let’s call them the Indradhanush School (not their real name). What they told me, while expected, gave me some pause for thought.
They could just have said “We don’t offer scholarships” and that would be that. But I also got a gratuitous explanation. Apparently, Mo is a misfit at Indradhanush because:
1. The difference in social strata “will sap his self-confidence”.
2. The Indradhanush parents “dislike their kids associating with” Mo’s poor types.
Apparently, he seriously doesn’t belong. While the former is laughable, the latter is seriously BS!
One day, Mo will be an Army officer (Mark my words – If that’s what he’s set his heart on, he will do it). He’ll maybe be posted at one of our many risky borders. While holding off the enemy, he should probably stick to only protecting the non-Indradhanush types, and let the enemy through to maul the others. Or when rescuing flood victims in his chopper, he too should do a reverse filtering of who gets rescued and whose aristocratic ass gets dumped back in the drink. Or if he is on the commando team that liberates the Taj, he should only free the non-Indradhanush hostages and let the terrorists roast the others.
The irony is, Mo is the most jolly, unassuming person I know. He wouldn’t do any of this to anyone. He has this quiet quality of watching over you, looking out for you in any small way he can… qualities I desperately want to see in the armed forces that protect me. Don’t you?
So, I just want to say, if you’re one of the <Enter hoity toity school name here> parents that think like this, you’re a sad excuse for a human being! Your kids will grow up to be elitist snobs, just like you, and will miss out on extra high caliber friends like Mo – That’s your just dessert, right there.
On the flip side, every one of us that invests our time / money / energy in a Mo around us is actually investing in ourselves (and mark my words, regardless of where you live in the world, there is always a Mo around you somewhere). You’ll walk away feeling like a better person for having done this. And you’ll lead by example when your kids, significant other, family and community watch you do wonders. What’s more, they’ll love and admire you for it. So don’t shun your own Mo when you meet him…. or her.
Karma. Circle of life. ROI. Call it what you will, but it will be worth your while, I promise.
For a counter-view, click here: Is ain’t so simple!
Edited on 1.16 pm, July 9, 2014, to include the footnote on counter-view.