Even way back in 2007, it was common knowledge that there were issues with our education system. It was not and is still not setting the right standards and giving the right knowledge about exceling in life. Moreover, not all children were able to properly grasp at the same speed and intensity as other kids. Sadly, society dubbed such children as ‘dumb’ or ‘hopeless’.
But it all changed with Taare Zameen Par. It released exactly ten years ago on this day and told the story of a child struggling with dyslexia. The perils of what he had to go through in order to hide his shortcomings and the consequences of it were seen to be believed. Of course, the silver lining in the film is the character of Ram Shankar Nikumbh, essayed brilliantly by Aamir Khan. He makes Ishaan realize that he’s different from other children thanks to dyslexia but at the same time, also informs him that it’s completely alright. Simultaneously, he enlightens Ishaan’s parents about his condition, especially his adamant father who takes a while to understand.
In no time, this film did the unthinkable. It sensitized the entire nation about learning disabilities and how one can overcome it and live life normally like others. The impact it generated was historic and unforgettable. Aamir Khan couldn’t have been happier as the film succeeded in its endeavour and in fact, went beyond expectations. So what does Aamir feel about and in terms of policy making, did it bring the desired changes? The superstar gave a very interesting answer to it, “I don’t have a barometer to measure how much Taare Zameen Par has impacted the policy decision making. But the film definitely has had a deep impact as per my understanding among the teaching fraternity, parents and children. When the film released, the awareness about learning disabilities at the primary level was very less, except for those who were involved in this field like special educators. But with this film, there has been a lot of sensitization across the country. At a lot of places that I go, teachers and parents come and thank me that have benefited society.”
2 years after Taare Zameen Par, Aamir Khan delivered another film, 3 Idiots, which also turned out to be a classic. Like Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots also delivered a powerful message and exposed more glitches in the education system and society’s mind-set. Surely, Aamir Khan with these two films has done more for the cause of education and society than many others and we can’t thank him enough!