The right to education is a progressive step towards a resurgent India. It is a known fact that Education is an important tool of empowerment, a tool which can help eradicate superstition, and the darkness of ignorance! However it remains to be seen how we can ensure that this right benefits the target audience. In a country plagued by poverty, how do you motivate a poor family to send its children to school knowing very well that it will affect the family income?
In a country plagued by poverty, we have rampant cases of child labour, where children are made to work to supplement the family income. It is apparent that if children start going to school, then it will affect the family income.How do you convince a poor family to sacrifice a large portion of its income just so that the children go to school? To a poverty stricken family it becomes of utmost importance to get a decent meal, enough to survive, or to subsist.
To make the right to education a success we need to ensure that poverty alleviation projects percolate to the worst affected families! Right to Education can be a success only when we are able to sustain poverty stricken families in their endeavour to survive. We need to be partners in survival. Right to Education can be successful only when we are able to involve families living below the poverty line by convincing them to send their children to school by promising them that they will not lose anything financially and that the state will be able to bear the financial burden entailed .
Imagine that a family of five members has a total monthly income of Rs. 10,000/- The father works a a daily wage earner and earns Rs. 5000/-. The mother earns Rs.2000/- by working as a maid. The two daughters earn another Rs.3000/- between themselves as maids in various residences. How do you convince them to send their two daughters to school knowing very well that by doing so they would have to forego Rs.3000/- from their combined family income of Rs.10,000/-? Will the state compensate them to the tune of Rs.3000/- a loss which they would incur as a result of sending their daughters to school?
Schooling entails various other expenses besides tuitions fees. These expenses include the expenses of stationary, uniforms and the fees to be paid towards other expenses like paying a Tutor, whose services are indispensible, medical expenses, transportations expenses, and various other miscellaneous expenses.
It goes without saying therefore that in order to make Right to Education a success, we need to raise the standard of living of families living below the poverty line, we need to ensure that children are given job opportunities, and we need to give poverty stricken families financial benefits and incentives which are realistic in nature so that children are sent to school. This is a onerous task especially in a Nation where Unemployment remains a scourge!
It is clear that to make Right to Education a success we need to abolish Child Labour and provide financial compensation to poverty stricken families to send their children to school.