Sadhguru: Economically, we have taken away national boundaries with the global economy. National boundaries are no longer relevant for the economic activity of the world. Once this happens, everything that we do has to be of international quality. Otherwise, we cannot survive in the world. Above all, we as a generation of people, for the first time, have this opportunity of moving a large mass of people from one level of living to another level of living. Never before has another generation of people ever had this opportunity.
People believe that India was economically good, hundred years ago. But if you look back on the reality, yes, there were Rajas and Maharajas, huge palaces and wealth, but it was all only in the hands of a small group of people. The common man still lived the same way. Now, for the first time in probably many thousand years, the economic bus has come India’s way and there is a possibility that we can move a whole generation of people from one level of living to another. This economic bus has come our way not because we have struck oil in this country, or found gold, diamonds, or something else. The bus has come our way simply because we have an educated population.
The only wealth that we have is population. Population is always seen as a curse because population is always understood as having 1.2 billion mouths and 1.2 billion stomachs. But we also have 1.2 billion brains and 2.4 billion hands; and if we have well–trained, focused minds, and well-trained hands, these 1.2 billion people can become a tremendous force.
People are talking about India becoming a superpower in the next twenty years or so. Being a superpower no longer means having the maximum number of bombs or arms. Being a superpower means we have the maximum number of educated, capable people, which is a possibility for India. We have the basis. We have the necessary culture behind us to develop this.
Right now, the software and outsourcing revolution has touched India and is helping the Indian economy take big strides. Yet as the economy grows, you will see, within a few years’ time we will have to outsource our work. We will not have people to do the necessary work in the country because we will run out of capable, educated people. It is okay for countries in the West to outsource their work to India because they have enjoyed a certain level of affluence for a certain period of time. But India is a nation where still fifty percent of the population does not even get to eat one full meal per day. When this is the situation in the country, outsourcing work would be a crime. So English education reaching rural India is a very vital factor in this, because seventy percent of the country’s population is in the rural areas and they have no idea that an opportunity like this has come our way.
The corporate sector and major industries in the country could easily take this up and make it happen. Investing in the education and health of the young population is not charity. It is an investment for the future because the greatest challenge for any business in the future is going to be human resource – to get the right kind of people to develop the business. Leaving seventy percent of the people out of that and trying to do business does not make sense. Investing in education and health not only leads to development of human resources, it also leads to expanded markets.
One thing that we can do right now, so as not to miss the economic bus, is take English education to the rural population. This should have happened fifteen years ago. It has not happened, but at least now it has to happen.
Editor’s Note: Through the project GenerationNEXT, Isha Outreach adopts government schools and improves the quality of education by bringing in qualified teachers, providing remedial classes and running extracurricular activities such as yoga, sports, arts and music. We also conduct health camps in the schools and promote hygiene to ensure the overall wellbeing of the children. Above all, we strive to induce a spirit of enthusiasm and joy in each child.