#review The Village that Banned Science

Author : Sangeeta Mulay

Publisher : Groggy Eyes

Publication date : 17 May, 2017

Book length : 132 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction​

Rating : 3/5

Review :

I was provided a free copy of the book by the author for reviewing.
If asked to rate the book based on the perspective of a child, I would give it a 4/5.

I seldom take up the troubling task of reading an e-book. Troubling why? Because I have issues. Ebooks hurt my eyes and give me frequent headaches. So whenever I do decide to read one, I always hope it is worth all the stress. And have never till date been upset of my decision. Whatever e-book I choose to take in remains short, so as to not cause much headache, and is well written.

This book was exactly the same. Short, precise, interesting and well written. The book is a suitable read for children and is very educative.

The story is about a small village in the forgotten part of India, Rampur where the government had forgotten to introduce science. As a result, it was still under the complete grasp of superstitions and beliefs of magic. It was run by a greedy and power loving Sarpanch and a holy Baba of the similar personality. The villagers believed deeply in the Baba’s speeches and buzzard solutions to whatever problems the villagers brought to his attention. They never questioned nor encountered his solutions but ladened him with gifts, food and other offerings. The Sarpanch saw to it that he also got a part of such mouthwatering offerings. Together the duo ruled over the village. The village doctor was never paid a visit to and was abundant, forgotten. The village doctor was never paid a visit to and was left forgotten. There was just one little girl, Jumbhula, who was always full of unbound curiousity over everything.  But found no one to answer her questions to.

Suddenly, events took turn with the government finally noticing the village and sending a Science teacher, Mr. Harish, to educate the children as well as the adults of the unfamiliar, unknown subject – Science. The villagers were all excited to learn something new. 

With the coming of Mr. Harish and his spending of enlightenment in the village, the villagers soon realised the useless tricks the Baba had played on them. There were still some who blindly believed in the Baba but majority turned against him. They all started questioning Baba hilarious remedies and soon the village doctor was remembered. Jambhula always ran to Mr.Harish who helped her get answers to all curious questions and experiments. The villagers started discussing and experimenting science. However, the altering effect on the Baba and the Sarpanch made then wrathful. Soon, when the village experienced an earthquake, they blamed it on Mr.Harish and the practice on science and announced to chop of the tiny toes of anyone found studying or practicing science. Though they all were angry, the villagers feared of their toes and kept silent. But Jambhula was not a girl to give up. With the help of Mr.Harish, she decided upon participating in an Annual village science competition for children in Seetapur with her solar cooker experiment. In midst of all these, when the village is struck by another natural calamity they decide to protest against the ban of Science. It was decided that the protest would be brought to the government’s notice.

But, was Jambhula able to attend the competition despite the heavy guard of the Sarpanch and his goons? Could she successfully present the experiment? Did she win? What happened of the protest? Could they bring back Science to the village? Did the government help? 

To get answers to all these questions all you have to pick up this short read and enjoy each and every aspect of it.

The book is simply written yet packed with great lessons. In India there are many villages which despite the country prospering daily, are very much behind. They remain deprived of proper education and enlightenment. Superstition and belief in magic hovers around those villages. The powerful people take complete control of everything and often the people face hard times. The book is an eye opener of how, when given proper notice and education to a village, numerous lives and dreams are saved from those greedy, powerful, superstitious clutches. Every human must have the right to get proper education. A country wide prosper only when no corner of it is left unnoticed. As the saying goes –

Diamonds are found only in the black, dirty depths of coal mines.

Who knows what precious talents lay hidden and wasted due to the lack of proper education. 

Another interesting fact about the book is the insertion of little experiments absolutely interest grabbing for children. This book is an educational book with humour, curiousity, struggle, understanding, enlightenment and Science.

An adult should read this book as well. For it’s never too old to be young.

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