Five Education Initiatives That are Changing India

Monday 18 April 2016
A big percentage of population still lives in destitution and a major cause of that is abject lack of education in large sections of society. An uneducated individual is incapable of taking the right decisions in their life. They miss out on the opportunities needed to advance in life and contribute to the good of the society at large. Consequently, the lives of such people remain mired in poverty and it also affects their family and the community they live in Education is an important tool which can bring a turnaround in the socio-economic conditions of the most backward people in the country. During the last few decades, the Government of India has rolled out several schemes and initiatives to ensure that education reaches the most marginalized children (and even adults) of India. This is supplemented by the work of Non-Governmental Organizations like Save the Children. The role of NGOs in taking education to the most vulnerable children is of paramount importance. NGOs run on donations and you too can help them do more for children. If you are thinking of supporting a social cause, then donate to a charity which works for children’s education. Make a donation and get tax benefits.  

Below we explore top five initiatives in India to spread education among deprived children and boost literacy:

Right to Education Act
Enacted on August 4, 2009, the Right to Education Act (RTE) enounces that education is a fundamental right for every child aged 6 -14 years and lays down the basic norms that have to be followed in elementary schools across the country. Under this Act, all private schools (except minority schools and boarding schools) are required to reserve 25 percent of their seats for children coming from economically weak backgrounds. As per the Act, no child can be stopped from promotion to the next level or can be expelled from the school. The various provisions of this Act are implemented by the Central Government, State Government and the local administration at their respective levels. 

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a flagship education program by the Indian Government for holistic improvement in the elementary education system in a time-bound manner.  The program has been implemented in active partnership with several state governments so as to cover the whole country and meet the educational needs of about 192 million children in over 1.1 million habitations.
Operational since 2000-01, the SSA aims to open schools and institutes in  places that don’t have proper schooling facilities. It also works towards improving the existing school infrastructure by building more classrooms, toilets, providing clean drinking water and improvement grants. SSA lays special focus on the education of girl children, children with special needs and promotes computer literacy. 

Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
After witnessing a sharp decline in the sex-ratio in some districts of India, the Government of India introduced/put forward the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme in October 2014. This scheme aims to work in order to ensure survival, safety and education of girls. The scheme celebrates the girl child and prevents any kind of gender bias.  A major aspect of the initiative is to ensure the protection of the girl child by preventing female foeticide. It  focuses on ensuring that education reaches the girl children of India. The broader aim of the initiative is women empowerment.

Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Yojna
Launched in August 2014, the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) scheme provides quality education to girls and makes available to them  facilities to widen their scope of knowledge and learning. The scheme has been implemented in 27 states and Union Territories. More than 3500 KGBV schools have been sanctioned to provide education to 3.6 lakh girls. These schools also provide hostel facility for students. Save the Children NGO, together with its NGO partners, has been doing a lot of work in several KGBVs set up in different districts of Rajasthan and Jharkhand to enhance the learning capabilities of the girls, enhancing schools’ infrastructure  in order to provide them access to high-quality education. 

Role of Non-Governmental Organisations  in Alleviating Poverty
NGO’s have played a significant role in educating children who come fromfamilies with limited means and have limited or no access to learning. NGOs run programmes  in the most backward areas of the country where literacy rates are abysmal and cases of child exploitation (like children being pushed in child labour , children getting into substance abuse, child marriages, etc.) are rampant. Organisations like Save the Children consider education as a key aspect of child rights and work independently and with the government authorities to bring children into the fold of education.  These organizations organisations take active measures to mobilize mobilise the underprivileged and deprived children of the society towards education. NGOs solely run on donations. Therefore, don’t hesitate to donate for education and gain the privilege to be the reason behind the change in the lives of children with limited means.
rginalised children.