Having discovered my passion for kids a few years ago, I have worked and volunteered with them ever since. Driven by my love and sincere belief that children are our future, the dreaming of a better world would never be complete without investing in children. This belief has also motivated me to work as a teaching assistant at my university for a year now. Recently, I have been more interested in underprivileged kids, and I have been looking for an opportunity to make a difference. When I came across Pehchaan The Street School, I immediately felt driven to be a part of this team, and when I read more about them, I was motivated by their passion and determination.
It is said that investing in children is critical to building a nation’s economic and political future. But what happens when less than half of India’s children between the ages 6 and 14 go to school while around 35 million children do not attend school? What if over 150 million children are working as bonded laborers? One of the most significant factors holding back India’s progress is its high level of illiteracy. The most recent census reports that overall adult literacy is at 74.04% – 82.14% among males and 65.46% for females.
Dropout rates are rising alarmingly in classes III to V, these being 50% for boys and 58% for girls. Witnessing all this potential go to waste is heartbreaking. More than 50% of girls fail to enroll in school, and those who do are likely to drop out by the age of 12. The high cost of private education, the need to work to support their families and little interest in studies are the reasons given by three in every four students as the reason they drop out.
Today, we no longer have the luxury to blame a system or individuals. It is time to step up and do something about this! Inside every child is a rainbow waiting to shine, and this is the perfect opportunity to leave a positive impact in someone’s life. Just imagine the possibilities of what we can do together!
By Clara Younan