India is a diverse country with people across all economic and social strata living alongside each other. Large numbers of people in lower economic groups, many of whom earn daily wages, need a helping hand and support from people better placed in society. Every community in a metro includes people belonging to lower income groups who are plagued with problems that need attention.
Lack of education is the biggest reason for existence of widespread poverty and the numerous ills that arise out of ignorance. Their capacity to earn a decent living is stunted and generations dwell in darkness. Struggling to meet their daily needs, many communities fail to wake up to the need for education and awareness. They often face exploitation.
Generations living in illiteracy and on meagre incomes is the reality we see in India. Most of them earn daily wages and have no means of improving their living conditions. They have limited awareness of health and hygiene. Children from these backgrounds often drop out of school after primary education and start working to help support the family. Girls are married off very young, often before puberty.
According the 2011 Census, 1 in 4 children of school-going age is out of school and 99 million children in total have dropped out of school in India. 28.7 crore adults are illiterate and only 2% of the schools offer complete school education from Class 1 to Class 12 (according the District Information System for Education (DISE) 2014-15).
According to DISE, 42% of married women in India were married as children 1 in every 3 child brides in the world is a girl in India (UNICEF). India has more than 45 lakh girls under 15 years of age who are married with children. Out of these, 70% of the girls have 2 children (Census 2011).
‘Right To Education’ is guaranteed by the Indian constitution; every child, irrespective of economic and social background, deserves to receive a formal education. Education enriches manpower and helps strengthen economic growth of the country apart from addressing key issues like healthcare, population control, unemployment etc. Through education, individuals come to understand their basic rights and privileges. When one generation receives the right education, they can help uplift their whole community.
Government schools that cater to this section of the population often lack the necessary impetus and facilities required for the current education system. Private and service-oriented participation is necessary to bring in the much-needed reforms in education, especially for those who cannot pay to go to schools.