Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brains In The Drains

A benevolent elderly lady who lives near my house casually told me a thing that left me pondering about attitudes that can eat up our nation like termites. She told me that her daughter, an MBBS, MD, got married into a wealthy business family. However, things were not rosy for long; only after a few months, she was forbidden from practicing by her parents-in-law, who felt that household and kids should be the utmost priority of her life. She tried a lot to convince them but finally, they put their foot down and now she is a full time housewife and a devoted mother to her two college going children. Her medical degree not only got wasted but this has far reaching effects as well. A medical seat that she had occupied got wasted since as a doctor she is not contributing anything to her country that is always short of trained doctors. Also, a lot of taxpayers’ money goes into making one specialist doctor and non-practicing people from medical profession only add to the liability of the nation.

In yet another case, a lady I know personally is a trained mathematics teacher but was forced to quit her job after she had had her first kid and since then is a full time housewife. Despite repeated requests from her and her parents, her in-laws are still adamant about the issue. Maths is not a subject that many kids enjoy and that can boast of a good teacher pool in the country. In such a case loss of a trained teacher that too one who decided to take up the profession out of her love for teaching the subject is a big loss indeed.

There is no dearth of such reports, facts and figures; we all know that millions of students, especially girls, occupy college seats but provide nothing in return. There are a few things that I really wish to shed some light on. 

Firstly, Higher education that churns out specialists like doctors, architects and engineers etc. costs any nation a lot and it is literally a crime to waste the national wealth like this. If someone aspires to be a skilled professional, she/he should always keep in mind that giving services back to the society is the most important thing, the aim of higher education. Also, I personally feel that education liberates you from the banal and monotonous drudgery of life and elevates living and mental standards.

One of the girls I know is an MBA but left her job as soon as she got married. The reason she gives is really annoying: her husband will take care of all the expenses and she need not work. Another girl I know is a PG but stays at home all day and spends her precious time in day dreaming or chatting. She has her own reasons; she says that since her father is rich enough, a job is not required. Job or business, whatever you take, adds to personal growth as well. An independent and empowered woman can maintain and protect her self-esteem and can ‘choose’ to even walk out of an abusive or broken marriage, hence saving her life for better.

We can further add to the list, the people who acquire higher education in some special professional field and then switch over to an entirely different one like administration, entertainment and showbiz, politics or business, which has little use of that professional skill and in which they could have done well even without snatching and wasting one seat from some other deserving and needy aspirant.

We cry ourselves hoarse on ‘brain drain’ but what about those millions of brains that are doing nothing for the nation and are wasting their precious skills in other mundane things.

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