Here’s how you can help shape a child’s future
I’m sure you’ve heard of India’s very progressive Right to Education Act enacted in 2009. But did you know that as per Section (1)© of the Act, all private and unaided schools in India are required to reserve 25% seats for children from underprivileged backgrounds?
Wow, imagine potential this provision has, so many children will be able to get a good quality education. Delhi -based non-profit Indus Action’s Project Eklavya is enabling just that. Wherein they go door-to-door across low-income communities in Delhi to spread the word and help children access their right to education.
By 2020, 50% of children in India will attend private schools. Unfortunately, today’s reality indicates that a child’s school will be decided by his place of birth and family income. Moreover, without the knowledge of such a provision, most children from underprivileged backgrounds tend to drop out of public schools to work and earn a livelihood.
This policy has the potential to put roughly 10 million children across India on a different life path in the next 5 years, making it the single largest opportunity seat scheme in the world. So, how can you help transform somebody’s future?
> Educate yourself about the implications of illiteracy – Most of us are vaguely aware of the extent of illiteracy in India. But how many of us really know the impact of not educating a child? The cost of illiteracy in India stands at USD 27.7 billion annually, which is approximately 1.2% of the GDP (Source: The Guardian).
> Creating Awareness – First step to curbing this problem is talking about it to your family, friends, social media connections. Yes, spread the word. According to a 2012 research conducted by JPAL, less than 3% of eligible families in Delhi are aware of this opportunity, resulting in 35,000 opportunity seats to go unveiled annually. Start by educating those around you – whether it is your househelp, building guard or driver. Or you could even start an initiative to educate low-income communities within your locality to help them understand their rights.
> Volunteer with a nonprofit organization – We have all volunteered as college students with a public school near our college. Bring back that passion for change. It’s only a matter of an hour or two over the weekends. And if you aren’t sure where to start, then find and reach out to an NGO in your city on www.impactguru.com.
> Support organizations that make education accessible among low-income communities – Entrepreneurs and social leaders are using their skillset to create innovative tech & non-tech based solutions to educate children in rural areas and urban slums. Whether it is helping them secure admission in a quality school, providing low-cost audio guides or providing relevant vocational training.
At Impact Guru, we are organizing a fundraising mixer to support Indus Action’s initiative to reach out 10,000 low-income families to help send their children to school on Sep 19 in Mumbai. So, join us to celebrate children and start making a difference: www.impactguru.com/WDF-Mixer