Thousands of students studying in schools funded by Delhi Government will soon get to study and learn about the life and achievements of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Commemorating the 63rd death anniversary of Dr Ambedkar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that the students studying in class VI, VII and VIII will be taught about the ‘Life and Contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar’ in the schools.
In the event, which also had the presence of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, the CM also launched a short biography titled ‘Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar: A Short Biography’ for classes 6, 7 and 8.
“We celebrate Mahaparinirvan Diwas every year but it is special this special this year as the government launches a booklet on the life and teachings of Baba Saheb Ambedkar to be taught in all its government schools. I hope that private schools will also include the booklet in their curriculum. Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a brave and mighty soul. Portraying him just as a Dalit leader doesn’t do justice to his greatness. Baba Saheb Ambedkar raised his voice for all the neglected and exploited sections of the society, as he raised his voice against the atrocities against Dalits in the country,” said Kejriwal while paying tribute to Dr. Ambedkar.
“He was born in a village to a poor Dalit family and had to face a lot of struggles and evil practices of untouchability and discrimination throughout his life. Education was a privilege that he was fortunate to access. At that time, it was very difficult for even students with a strong financial background to complete their education. But Baba Saheb Ambedkar attained two doctoral degrees back then from the prestigious Columbia University and London School of Economics. It would be an honor to teach our students about how Baba Saheb Ambedkar, despite facing manifold obstacles climbed the ladder of success”, the Chief Minister added.
Kejriwal also said that the booklet should only be considered as a draft and the government will refine the contents of the book after getting feedbacks from the students, teachers and guardians. “I believe that within a span of one or two years, we will be able to develop a course on Baba Saheb Ambedkar which will be adopted not only in Delhi but in all the schools across the country,” said Kejriwal.
While the Sisodia who is also the minister of Education, said “We cannot compile the entire life and teachings of in a brief chapter of Baba Saheb Ambedkar - a great visionary into a book. Today, with this curriculum, we introduce the noble thoughts that Babasaheb Ambedkar believed in, to our children, so that they would also learn to inculcate it in their lives.”
Sisodia also said that Education Department will introduce a curriculum in Delhi schools based on this booklet. “After teaching these chapters, we’ll take feedback to assess to what extent students could understand and inculcate the values and fine thoughts that Baba Saheb stood for and lived. If children can stand against various forms of inequality and discrimination in the society, then our aim to teach Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s life and thoughts would be fulfilled,” he said.
Further, the Social welfare minister Gautam, the brain behind the booklet said, “Today Delhi government has taken a historic and decisive step to teach the life and contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in the schools in Delhi. He was a social reformer par excellence, human rights activist, constitutional expert, but portraying him as only a Messiah of Dalits is an injustice to his invaluable contributions.”
The first part of the booklet for Class 6 explores the life and education of Ambedkar and his social reforms initiatives, contributions to women empowerment and making the constitution of India. The second part for class 7 details his contributions to social justice, and Gender justice. The third part for class 8 elucidates the contributions of Baba Saheb Ambedkar in Parliamentary Democracy and Government.
The booklet was prepared by the Social Welfare department of the Delhi government with the help of three scholars and experts from Delhi University - Mani Sagar, Shashi Rani, and N. Sukumar.