Smile Foundation and the legendary Sonu Nigam joined hands together to produce a song titled, Shiksha Na Ruke to capture and showcase the resilience of children living under tough situations– children who are finally back to school after the unexpected gap of two years due to the pandemic. It was a pleasure to watch children go back to school, hug their friends, share meals and make beautiful memories together. But sadly, that was just one part of the story.
The initiative- Shiksha Na Ruke
The pandemic unreasonably affected every child worldwide but children from socio-economically weaker sections, tribal belts, rural areas and urban slums, suffered more than others. Only 28% of children living in rural areas and urban slums had access to digital learning when schools were shut. The already struggling children’s education came to a complete halt and for a time, it felt as if nothing much could be done about it.
Then arrived, Smile Foundation’s Shiksha Na Ruke initiative to help children from difficult circumstances get back to school and power back their lives with hope and positivity. Presently, the initiative is providing quality education to over 100,000 children in 23 states of India.
Smile Foundation and Sonu Nigam Song Collaboration
Talking about the song, Shiksha Na Ruke, sung incredibly by one of the best voices of India, the inimitable Sonu Nigam– it’s a song that beautifully captures the patience and strength that India has shown in fighting the pandemic. We have put the worst behind us and are marching forward for a better and brighter tomorrow.
Despite all the odds, these young warriors refuse to give up and continue to work hard to make their dreams come true. This song is a celebration of their indomitable spirit. Most of all, the song salutes and celebrates our children caught unaware as the pandemic hit and transformed the world in a way they could never fully understand.
When schools were shut; children got confined to their homes, away from their friends and teachers, and every kind of social interaction. But they persevered– made themselves quickly acquainted with online studies, wearing masks, taking care of sick family members, and changing their dietary and hygiene habits.
Reopening of Schools to ensure Shiksha Na Ruke
The reopening of schools marked the return to a normal life. It was both a much needed whiff of fresh air and also a reassurance that the past wounds will heal and the future will be stronger and hopeful. There is no one better to symbolise hope for the future than the country’s children.
This beautifully-composed song calls for us to wholly rejoice as children pick up their books, pack their bags and once again make their way to school– back to classrooms, playgrounds, and sharing laughs and lunches with friends!
The song is shot across different locations of the country, especially in remote rural areas where children still have to walk many kilometres or cross a river to reach their school. It reflects their strong desire to gain knowledge and learn tirelessly. It also showcases the socio-cultural and geographical diversity of India. Sonu Nigam’s voice, Jazim Sharma’s composition, and Saaveri Verma’s lyrics embody the song with depth, soul and purpose. The song is going to linger in our collective memory for a long time.
Smile Foundation’s Role in Shiksha Na Ruke
Smile Foundation’s objective behind producing this song is to highlight the good and the bad faced by these children– spotlighting their vulnerability, and at the same time, their potential in unexpected crisis situations like the pandemic. We also want to spread awareness and call attention to the fact that while some children were able to continue their education through the online mode, the disadvantaged ones did not have the means to pursue digital learning.
Owing to the pandemic, thousands of children dropped out of schools, and are yet to return back to the classrooms. All children deserve continued access to education, and this is what this initiative and the song, Shiksha Na Ruke is all about.