Education is the foundation of an evolved, rational and mature society. It is liberating and empowering force that removes the darkness of ignorance and sows the seed of knowledge. Only an educated society can develop into a progressive nation that is self-sufficient and financially independent.
Unfortunately, in the remote, interior parts of India, children are deprived of this great gift of education, and the vicious cycle of poverty continues to haunt them down the generations.
There are a lot of contributing factors that discourage parents from sending their children to school. Let’s take a look at these factors:
Lack of Affordability:
The primary concern in the rural villages is that of basic human needs of food and water, and education, naturally, takes a backseat. Where the survival of humanity seems improbable, sparing out for luxuries such as education is out of the question. Education here is considered to be an unnecessary expenditure and is, in fact, unaffordable.
Lack of Availability of Learning Materials:
Books, uniform and other learning materials are expensive, and the costs are unbearable for the people living in rural areas. Even when they are affordable, they are not readily available. This issue among the primary factors which de-motivates them from sending their children to school.
Lack of finances compels the children to take up menial jobs in industries and civil construction sites. The parents, too, are helpless in this situation since they are unable to provide for the needs of their children through their limited income and therefore are forced to send their children off to work. They discourage the children from going to school as that would cut down on their earnings.
Many government schools are far away from the villages with only one school between many villages. Thus, commutation becomes a problem due to distance and lack of proper transport facilities. A lot of these schools do not have good infrastructure facilities and adequate teaching staff to take care of their needs.
The Girl Child Stigma:
In these rural villages, female education is not considered to be of any significance, and the girls are not sent to school. Most of the girls are made to stay at home and forced to do household chores. This encourages gender discrimination and limits the scope of development of women.
Lack of Awareness:
Illiteracy is common among rural parents, and they do not understand the importance of education. The need for education and its benefits are not well established among the psyche of rural parents, and hence they do not take any interest in educating their children.
What Is Being Done To Address These Problems?
To solve this issue, many charitable trusts, NGOs, and corporates have come up with the initiative of providing free education to the rural children. The efforts made by them to bring light and hope in the lives of underprivileged children are truly commendable.
One such example is from Shift 2 Happiness Charity. We have taken up the challenge of spreading the light of education in the remote parts of the country such as Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, where only a precious little has been done so far. We try to facilitate education among the underprivileged children by supplying books, uniforms, and other learning materials. We take care of their school fees, and boarding and lodging facilities.
We also assist them by providing transportation services. We have also tried to create awareness among the rural people about the need and urgency of education. We have also sought to emphasize the importance of female education to promote gender equality. We hope to make India a better nation where, in the words of Tagore, knowledge is free, and the head is held high