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Aug 01, 2017 at 13:13

We as a country, have laid a great deal of emphasis on the education of every child and various programs have been put in place to ensure the same. But for the children living with the bare minimum to sustain themselves, where getting food on the plate at the end of the day is not a surety, is developing the skills more important? We asked our reporters for their opinions

Education as Primary mover

Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. And there have been many proponents of this change from Socrates to Malala Yousafzai.Despite being the largest democracy, the second most populous country, and the fastest growing economy, India still ranks 92nd amongst 145 countries in the world in the field of education.There are a multitude of reasons for such a state of affairs, affordability being the primary. Since parents of underprivileged children are caught in this vicious cycle of poverty, as they do not have appropriate employment and income, millions of children work to help their families eke out a living during their formative years.

Secondly, educational facilities are not available in all parts of India, and where they are, they might not be sufficient. Thirdly, there are societal and cultural expectations as well. In many parts of the country, the girl child is still looked down upon and thought to be fit only for marriage.

This is giving birth to an ever increasing divide between the privileged and underprivileged children in India. Unless the lowest rung of the society does not contribute to the economy, India can only dream to be a developed nation.

First Skill to Eat, then to Educate

Underprivileged children are the children who do not often share the same rights and privileges as others, including some of us. People belonging to this category are usually either poverty stricken or they are socially unwanted, i.e,. they are discriminated against on the basis of caste, gender or religion. Survival for such underprivileged children and their families in our world is itself extremely difficult.

Usually, underprivileged children do not get the opportunity to get proper or even basic education as they cannot afford it. In situations where the education may be free of cost, the faltering situation of the families often holds them back from joining a school. In such cases, skill development comes in handy. This will help in two things: first, in having some economic support for their family and second, in education of the younger members of their families, or saving money for the education of the next generation.

The underprivileged then don’t need to spend the meagre amount their family is earning on their education. They might only be able to afford the basic education which may or may not get them proper jobs. But with skill development, they can bring in a stable source of income for their family, and help with long term sustainability.

Siddhidatri Mishra

Student Reporter

Anjishtha Sharma

Student Reporter