To enroll 556 children into schools.$ 20,000
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When a child is able to go to school today, it sets off a cycle of positive change. An educated child stays away from an early marriage, avoids exploitation and becomes strong and independent. As children grow, they are able to make better choices for themselves and influence the communities they live in. This transforms their present life and ensures a secure future for them.
The ‘Right to Write’ campaign is about ensuring 566 children across CRY America supported projects in India go to school and complete their education. Donate now to help them enjoy a future full of opportunities.
More than a third of India’s population are children under the age of 18 years. There are several issues that come in the way of many of them receiving an education.
No nearby schools
For many children, their reason for dropping out is simple. The village school is just too far. Parents, worried for their safety, prefer to have them stay at home than risk travelling the distance alone.
Facing abject poverty, parents often resort to sending their children to work, ending their hopes of finishing school. This makes them bound to labor, with no hope of ever being independent.
Some families that can afford to send their children to school favor their sons over daughters, causing girls to stay at home while their brothers attend school.
Lack of separate toilets for boys and girls is one of the leading causes for girls to drop out. The discomfort of sharing a toilet with their fellow classmates and teachers often compels them to give up on school altogether.
In rural India, families live with modest means, and their child’s education is never a priority. Marriage is. And since marriage brings the burden of rearing a family, children are forced to drop out of school.
India has a population of 1.21 billion. Children below the age of 18 years account for 38.24% of India’s population.
- According to the 2014 Education For All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), India currently has the largest population of illiterate adults in the world with 287 million. This is 37 per cent of the global total.
- According to the Annual Status of Education (ASER) Report 2014, 18% of children of class VIII fail to recognize numbers up to 100. Only 44.1% children of class VIII can do division. At class VII learning levels, only 38.8% children can read English sentences. While only 66.3% of them can understand the meaning of the sentence.
- Dropout rate for class I to X at national level has decreased from 61.62 in 2005-06 to 49.20 in 2010-11. However it is still quite high as compared to the desirable target of 0.
- The Average Annual Dropout Rate at Secondary level for the year 2012-13 is 14.54% at National level as per UDISE data. (Status of Secondary Education: Trends under RMSA).
- The percentage of ST enrollment to total enrollment drops sharply from 11.09% in primary classes to 8.58% in the secondary school level. The share of minorities (Muslims) in the total enrollment in schools also drops from 14.34% in primary education to 9.87% in secondary education. Similarly, government data suggests that around 1.30% of the total enrollment in primary education consists of children with special needs (CWSN). This number falls steeply to 0.61% for secondary education, which suggests that large numbers of CWSN drop out of schooling mid-way (Source U-DISE 2013-14).
- Within the RTE norms, having a ramp is one pre-requisite within the school infrastructure norms laid down. Yet even now 17.67% schools currently don’t have ramps.
- The District information system of Education (DISE) reports state that percentage of schools with SMC have increased from 50.52% in 2010-11 to 91% in 2013-14 at end of four year of implementation of Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act, 2009).
- Worldwide, there are only ten countries in which the number of illiterate adults exceeds ten million — India (286 million), China (54 million), Pakistan (52 million), Bangladesh (44 million), Nigeria (41 million), Ethiopia (27 million), Egypt (15 million), Brazil (13 million), Indonesia (12 million) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12 million).
CRY America works with grassroots projects in India to address the factors that come in the way of children not being able to access their right to education. We work on solutions together with the communities. The approach on the ground includes:
- Access to equitable and quality preschool, primary and secondary education in our intervention areas.
- Mobilizing and empowering parents and communities to act towards children’s right to education.
- Transition of children from pre-school to primary education.
- Making stakeholders understand the importance of education.
- Ensuring that in intervention areas schools are Right to Education Act compliant and have functioning School Monitoring Committees.
- Awareness in parents on the importance of education and the consequences of child marriage.
- Access to secondary schools and readiness for secondary education
- Protection and security of girls within the community and their safe access to schools and retention.
- Lobby for schools where they are not available and advocate for better monitoring of schools at various levels.
At the POLICY ADVOCACY level, CRY works with local and national government bodies towards:
- Advocacy for implementation of National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education Policy.
- Facilitating evidence and knowledge building towards a comprehensive legislation for rights of children in the age group of 0- 6 years.
- The Right to free and compulsory Education Act amended to incorporate critical parameters of quality, equity and monitoring.
- Specific Policy Provisions for the most marginalized population to increase in transition and retention rates.
- Advocacy and Research focussed on effective measures of Prevention and redressal of Child Marriage and child labor through legal and policy interventions.
- Advocacy and research in areas of universalization of secondary education.
- Analysis and advocacy for adequate provisioning of Budgets in Primary and Secondary Education.
Issue: Girl Child Marriage
Project: Disha Vihar
Location: Bihar, India
Age: 15 years
Fifteen year old Sarika was one of the brightest students in her class at Sitalpur High School in Munger village, Bihar, India.Unfortunately her parents had other plans and forced Sarika to drop out of school to get married.
But Sarika was not deterred. She reached out to the 'Munna Munni Manch' (the children's group in her village, which is an intervention by CRY America supported project Disha Vihar) and the Women's Group. The members of Disha Vihar, Munna Munni Manch and Woman's Group not only worked to educate and sensitize Sarika's parents against the taboos of child marriage but also educated the groom's family on the illegality of child marriage. Ultimately, the marriage was called off.
Today, Sarika is back to doing what she does best. In 2013 she completed her Secondary Education and in 2015 she completed her Higher Secondary Education in Humanities. Currently she is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in the field of Arts along with a course in Computer Basics. Additionally, Sarika and her mother are active campaigners against child marriage in their village. Sarika's story has impacted the community so deeply that they have decided not to allow any child marriages in their village.
Donate now to give children their #RightToWrite a better future.
Issue: Child labor
Project: Rural Workers Development Society (RWDS)
Location: Tamil Nadu, India
Age: 14 years
14-year-old Anant of Pudugramam village in Tamil Nadu was usually at work before most of the inhabitants of his village awoke. He began each day cleaning farm tractors, before going on to drive them. It earned him a meagre Rs. 150 (US$2) for a full day's work.
Anant was forced to drop out of school last year because his family couldn't afford to pay the school fees. There is no government school near his village and the state-aided high school where he studied was charging Rs.600 (US$9) to Rs.1000 (US$14) in school fees from the 6th grade onwards.
Anant is an example of the thousands of children in India who are pushed into child labor once they finish their free schooling under the Right To Education Act. With no money to pay for higher education, and not enough qualifications to garner decent jobs, these children often end up working in jobs where they are prone to exploitation and abuse.
CRY America supported project, Rural Workers Development Society (RWDS) was alerted to Anant's case. The community worker worked with Anant and his family and through continuous efforts, Anant is now enrolled in the government school. He has just completed his 9th standard and is looking forward to continuing his studies in the 10th. Because of your efforts and contribution, Anant is now on the path to fulfill his dreams.
Your support can give children their #RightToWrite a better future.
Issue: School Dropout Due To Migration
Project: Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation
Location: Varanasi, India
Age: 18 years
Arti, who lives in a slum right in the heart of the city of Varanasi, recently passed her class 12th examination with flying colours. Her motive in life is clear - "Not only will I learn and educate myself, but also constantly work towards solving the various issues faced by girl children in my slum." A feat she tries achieving everyday as president of the girls collective. She isn't just an agent of change. She's a ray of possibility and hope for many children.
However, this journey of change has been a long one for Arti. She was forced to take up domestic work to help support her family when she was in class 5. By the time she reached class 8, her parents had already arranged her marriage, seemingly bringing an end to her education.
Arti was not ready for marriage and tried to reason with her parents, but to no avail. She then sought the help of CRY America supported project Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation working in the area who met with her parents and together with Arti, explained the perils of child marriage to them. After repeated counselling, her parents not only agreed to stop the wedding but also allowed Arti to continue and complete her studies.
Your support has helped many children like Arti get access to education and have a shot at a brighter life. We look forward to your continued efforts in ensuring many more children get their #RightToWrite a better future.
Issue: Child Marriage
Project: Sankalp Manav Vikas Sanstha
Location: Parbhani, India
Rani Kale narrowly escaped being married off a week before her sixteenth birthday. Rani, her parents and two younger brothers are residents of the draught-hit region of Parbhani district of Maharashtra in India. The severe draught had forced Rani’s parents to migrate to other cities in search of work. They feared for Rani’s safety away from the village and, disregarding her opinion, decided it was best to get her married at the earliest.
But Rani’s friends in Savitrichya Kanya (Daughters of Savitribai), and Sankalp Manav Vikas Sanstha rose to the occasion. Sankalp Manav Vikas, a project partner of CRY, works for the education of underprivileged children in various districts of Marathwada. Rani talked to the Sankalp members about her woes. “I wanted to finish school, not get married. My parents said they would not be able to take care of me when they moved to the city. By getting me married they felt their obligation would fold up, that I would be protected.” says Rani, echoing the concerns of many other teenage girls in the village. But through continuous efforts they were able to sensitize Rani’s parents about the taboos of child marriage and convince them to keep her in school.
Today, Rani is a member of Savitrichya Kanya, an active advocate of child rights and dreams of one day becoming an IAS officer. To date, Sankalp Manav Vikas has prevented 150 child marriages and because of it children like Rani have the chance to chase their dreams.
Children across CRY America supported projects talk about their aspirations
CRY America volunteer, Sai Sajja voices her support for education
Ruchika Pandey, Action Centre lead with CRY America talks about equal opportunities