'ASER is not just a report but a movement across the country'.
Working at ASER Pakistan, I had heard and reiterated the above statement to others many times. However, I was able to fully comprehend this statement only when I had the chance to take part in one of the village baithaks.
I was visiting village 519-TDA, Muzaffar Garh, in South Punjab to disseminate the ASER findings at community level. While sharing the results of the village, I experienced something I could not have imagined. The people of the village listened to the results attentively and later on consulted each other on how to improve things on their own as the future of their children was at stake. I can still remember the words of a young man, Mr. Mukhtar who stood up and asked loudly, “Sir me ap say kuch kehna chahta hon?" I replied, “Jee sir bolein". Very politely he said, “Me salute kerta hn uss banday ko jiss nay ASER ka idea dia, keh logon ko jhanjhora jaey keh utho apnay massail k baray me khud socho, un ka hal bhi khud talash karo, dosoron say umeed na laga k betho keh koi maseeha ay ga aur hamari taqdeer badlay ga, yahi hamara almmiayah hai keh ham khud kuch ni kertay sab kuch dosron say expect kertay hain. Me aj say apnay gaon say sab out of school bachay dhondhoon ga aur un ko dakhil karwaoon ga, me ghar ghar ja k apni maoon behnon ko bhi mobilize karoon ga keh Taleem k liay jag jaein please. I salute ASER team".
Hearing him talk about our survey in such a prestigious manner made me a little emotional as well and I realized that ASER is not just a survey. It is a movement which is awakening people, mobilizing them, sensitizing them to own their problems and solve them. It is attempting to give the people of Pakistan a sense of ownership and the awakening they needed. Today, I am proud of being a member of the ASER team and proud to be on a mission to educate my society.