India’s future lies in primary education for all: Lapierre

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BHANGAR - Famed French author Dominique Lapierre says the future of India lies not in improving facilities in the metro cities but in developing regions like the Sundarbans by ensuring primary education for all as a first step.

“The shining India can become a reality by developing these parts and not only going on developing the metropoliton cities. Areas like the Sundarbans can too help form a bright future for the country,” the French journalist-turned-author told the media here, 30 km from Kolkata, Monday.

“Primary education is the foremost among the needs of the people of these regions so that they can develop and make their future secure,” Lapierre said.

“The first time I visited the remote places of the Sundarbans was 25 years ago and since then I have been associated with NGOs like the Southern Health Improvement Society (SHIS). And I am very satisfied that the results are improving over the years,” he said.

Asked whether the government was neglecting the poor and the needy, he said: “No, the government is properly aware of them and their changing lives.”

The French author has also organised medical camps in remote areas of the Sundarbans over the years.

Lapierre has given four medical boats to SHIS for tending to the sick in medical camps in the remote islands.

“The medical boats have everything, including X-Ray facilities and pathology department. Any person who is critical is brought to the mainland by these boats for treatment and treated free of cost,” SHIS director Mohammed Abdul Wahab said.

Lapierre said it was gradually becoming difficult for him to carry on the funding without the cooperation of others, and urged people to come forward to help the needy. The full royalty of his book “The City of Joy” is used in funding SHIS.

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