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Kannan Venguswamy, Balasubramanian Sivakumar, Arvind Mehta, Umapathy Channamalappa, Nishant Sabadra, Dhanunjaya Pallerla, Rajni Patel, Sunil Goje, Neena Piplani, Jay Sriram, Hemant Wamorkar, Tamnash Gupta, Sovrin Tolia, Elizabeth, Winterbourne, Ayaan Agarwal, Sudha Balla, Katherine Mitra, Sarma Ayyagari, Nishant Sabadra, Sunil Goje, Deepthi Manubolu, Ketan Morker, Sarat Sreepathi, Arvind Mehta, Chetan Deshpande, Scott Bowker, Riz Mithani, Suresh Muddaveerappa, Kashmira Samel, Ravi Babbellapati, Swetha Sreepathi, Vikram Abrol, Krishna Balantrapu

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.

Child labor
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.

No toilets
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.

Early marriage
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.
  • 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