The battle to improve the lives of the underprivileged children of India is being waged on many fronts. In spite of the many international news stories highlighting the positive growth in India’s economy and the new wealth it is creating, India remains the poorest country in the world with 51 percent or 844 million people impoverished. The need to help educate India’s poorest children demands the world’s attention and action.
The Smile Foundation notes, “Children are the future of a nation. For an emerging and developing country like India, development of underprivileged children holds the key to the progress of the nation itself.”
The need in India is so great. Frishta Children’s Village, a UK based charity working in India states, “Every year in India 2.5 million children die from poverty: that’s one every 3 seconds or nearly 7,000 each and every day.”
Recent reports issued by the India government indicate that 59 million children between 6-14 years do not attend school. Give India notes, “Despite the numerous promises and provisions made by the Indian government, the state of many of India’s children continues to be pitiable. Statistics reveal that there are close to 17 million child laborers, about 3 to 5 lakh children are forcibly engaged in prostitution and at least 18 million children live on the streets in India.”
SOS Chilren’s Villages has been working to eradicate poverty and provide education for the children of India since 1963. SOS advises that girls are at special risk, “Girls are particularly vulnerable to poverty, homelessness and violence. In some areas, two thirds or more of girls drop out of primary school, and many are forced to marry before they reach the age of 18.”
Kiran Charities is another group focused on helping the forgotten children of India through education. Founder and President of Kiran Charities, Mr. Michael Antony, is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. Working in the chemical engineering field since 1978, Mr. Anthony became a leader in his industry. As a youth, Mr. Antony experienced and later witnessed the deprivations and hardships endured by several Indian schools that serve impoverished populations. Knowing that education is a crucial tool in breaking the chains of poverty, Mr. Kiran was motivated to found Kiran Charities to address that need.
Pratham, a charity for children in India, has a goal of “every child in school and learning well.” The organization is a joint tripartite partnership involving the government, the corporate sector and local residents. Seeded in 1994 in Mumbai by UNICEF and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, the mission has now expanded to 21 of India’s states. Pratham is the largest non-governmental children’s charity presently striving to provide quality education to the underprivileged children of urban and rural India.
The Tej Kohli Foundation, a private non-profit humanitarian relief organization based in Guragaon, India, is helping thousands of India’s children living in poverty. Driven by a compassionate heart and motivated by a sincere desire to help make the world a better place, India born philanthropist and entrepreneur Tej Kohli established the foundation in 2005. Solely funded by Mr. Kohli, with efforts primarily focused in India and Costa Rica, the foundation endeavors to alleviate poverty by providing educational opportunities, food, clean drinking water, adequate sanitation and medical services.
Tej Kohli, international businessman and chief donor to the Tej Kohli Foundation says, “Children determine the future. If a country nurtures these children’s talents from a young age, it will be capable of raising its living standards. The Tej Kohli Foundation cannot cater to each and every child in India but we hope our work will encourage our country to unite and make life better for Indian children”.
Child Poverty And Compulsory Education In India