Education of a child starts from the family and mother is the first teacher. But, the irony in India is that although the deity of education is a female i.e. Goddess Saraswati according to the Hinduism, innumerable number of women are illiterate.
They are not remaining uneducated by their own wish but they are being forbidden from receiving education because of the patriarchal families in our society.
Right from the early Vedic period people have been celebrating the birth of a son, but in those days daughters born into a family were not neglected and educated properly. However the scene was changed during the later Vedic Age and the daughters were considered as a social burden. Only the girls belonging to upper class families enjoyed the right of education and got proper nourishment. In medieval period the conditions deteriorated for the females and even in royal families, girls could not get the same status as the boys. In Muslim households they were taught at their homes while Hindu girls enjoyed the privilege of getting primary education along with the boys in schools. The prevalence of child marriage were excessively practiced. However, in the nineteenth century many social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Annie Besant, M.G. Ranade, Jyotibe Phule, Swami Dayanand Saraswati etc. came forward for the emancipation of women in India. Especially Raja Ram Mohan Roy advocated for female education.
Since then there has been tremendous progress in every field but unfortunately still the girls are neglected. In most of the families the birth of a girl child is not desired and if accepted they are thought inferior to boys and their education is not considered important because it seems a wastage of money to most of the parents. they think it unreasonable because afterwards they have been compelled to bear a heavy amount towards their dowry. So the female literacy is rate is unsatisfactory and it has a direct impact upon the overall development of a nation and its population growth. If India wants to be one of the developed nations it must concentrate on female education because if we educate a man we educate an individual but if we educate a women we educate an entire family. Again the root cause of all problems facing the women is related to education. if all women are educate, then all problems like female infanticide, dowry, female suicides, domestic battering, malnutrition of women, child marriage and other related atrocities would get vanished from India.
Education provides an essential qualification to fulfill certain economic, political and cultural functions and improves women’s socioeconomic status. At very age and level education enhances the intellectual, social and emotional development of women and enables them to meet their basic needs to daily life. It brings reduction in inequalities in the society.
Only educated women can understand the needs of the family. They will never send their children to work in any shop or factory, rather they will arrange for their education in good schools. They will take proper care of the health and diet of their children. A mother knows what is good for her kids and how they should be brought up. Thus, educated mothers would promote education for all their children without discrimination. But if a mother (girl) is not educated and gets children then she would do anything without reasoning and harm herself and her children. As she is not educated, she would tend to think that education is only for the mail and not for the female and thus, she would ingrain in her daughters the idea that they are inferior to their brothers.
As girls are not educated they remain dependent on their family before marriage, on their husband after marriage and on their children after the death of their spouse. This is the main reason for the unpleasant condition of women. So if girls will be educated, they will no longer be dependent on any one and they can do a lot for their uplift.
Most of the problems of society can be eradicated by educating the girl child. marriage at a very young age leads the women to conceive repeatedly, which affect their health badly. Most of the uneducated women do not know about the various contraceptive measures. Even if some know they feel hesitant in using them. It results in more growth of population and worse condition of women. Thus, the state in which female literacy rate is more like Kerala, population growth is less. The menace of child labor also has significantly been out of practice because the women became aware of their rights and privileges.
Women are exploited in every sector, especially if they are uneducated, because they cannot demand their rights. Most of the women lack unity and work in unorganized sector. If they were educated they would have been knowing the rules and regulations and working in an organized sector getting the benefits of public schemes. If women are educated enough they can get training for setting of small scale industries, they can know the procedure of getting loan, get the knowledge of market availability of raw material and labor, new policies of the government, procedure to register new product and knowledge about import and export goods. If their standard of living will be improved. it will indirectly uplift the level of society. If they can be financially strong they will take proper care of their children and provide them good education.
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Due to her nature women possesses the best ability to teach the child”. Chhatrapati Shivaji and Maharana Pratap are the best example of this saying. Thus, let us start educating the female children to change the face of society.