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Agnishudhi- Sanctification by Fire

Watercolours in 250 gsm cold-pressed paper

Devika, a 14 year old Dalit girl from an unprivileged background set herself on fire to death in rural Kerala, afraid of missing out on the Governement of Kerala’s digital education initiatives during the pandemic that include telecasting teaching lessons for school students via television, mobile apps etc. As schools opened in the state yesterday, while tens of thousands of students had the resources to join these classes, unfortunate ones like Devika with no access to these resources were left behind. Such problems arising from economic disparity and long-standing casteism, and the lack of sustainable education practices need to be questioned here, with alarming concern. This must be tolerated no longer!! This unjust world needs sanctification by fire, not kids like Devika!

Such unforgiving events show how badly we deal with mental health struggles from a young age. Good, clean and healthy practices call for raising self-confidence and perseverance amongst the younger crowd. Myself and hundred of Indians that I personally know have been victims of the crippled norms of the society where mental struggles were dusted under the carpet. Teachers and parents who read this, please do reflect on supporting kids in vulnerable age groups and how we should do better.

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