[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

Let’s (not) go with the flow

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Stumbled [via LazyGeek] upon this music video made by a budding filmmaker from Chennai. I liked it because it cuts across the core problem that I care about. I have written about this before on different occasion [Make this world a better place, Will Idiots revive India?, Thoughts on Education]. The society, schools, and parents in India aren’t doing much to help young children understand and pursue different careers. That is exactly the premise that I would like tackle through the use of every tool and technique we have at our disposal today.

Two days ago, I spent over an hour via Skype talking to about 15 children from the outskirts of Coimbatore, all within the age group of 9-14. As I ask everyone of them, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”, many of them said they want to be a doctor (surprised?) and few said astronaut and few others didn’t know what to say. These are all very smart, articulate kids who can talk about a lot of topics, but have low level of awareness in terms of future career options beyond doctor, engineer, lawyer, scientist and may one or two more.

In my mind, this is a unaddressed space that will have terrible effect (many jobs will go unfilled while these kids grow up only to have unsatisfactory careers in IT or BPO call centers when they could have been a film director or landscape architect or marine biologist or journalist or what not?) but at the same time, this is a great opportunity for folks like you and me to shape their awareness. If we can find ways to provide educational services to these kids, they will sure grow up to be superstars in whatever they are passionate about and skilled in. We just need to open up their minds to it and spread the seeds when they are young.

On a lighter note, the video is titled Lets go with the flow from the perspective of letting the children go with whatever aspirations and desires they have. I titled this post as Le’ts (not) go with the flow from the perspective that most kids are “simply going with the flow of everyone else” by picking doctors, or computer programmer or lawyer or auditor or such namesake careers. By not going with the flow, there is so much else to do in this world, to user their naturals skills, to live a happier life and make a difference to the society!

About a minute into the video…

What’s up cheeenu? What do you want to do?

Engineer ah? Doctor ah? What do you want to be?

Economist ? Biologist ? Rocket Scientist ? Feminist !

Awesome! Just that Feminist part I am not sure what he meant.