Children in India
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.
Education for underprivileged Children
is the key whether we are addressing healthcare, poverty, population control,
unemployment or human rights issues.
The educational initiatives for underprivileged
children include Crèche [0-3 yrs], Pre-school [3-6 yrs], Non Formal
Education [6-14 yrs non-school going], Remedial Education [6-14 yrs school
going], Bridge Course [14-18 yrs drop-outs], Functional Literacy [18-45
yrs women] and Family Life Education for adolescent girls. These projects
support more than 100 grassroots initiatives working for the education
of very poor and underprivileged children in various states of country
like Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal,
Assam, Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Chandigarh,
Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh
Various education programmes launched
by Smile are: Mission Education, Smile Twin e-Learning Projects, Swabhiman,
Action for Change, and You Can Make A Difference.
Numerous projects under Smile’s
educational programmes cover poor children under difficult circumstances
such as child labour, children of poorest of the parents, underprivileged
children inflicted and affected with HIV/AIDS, runaway and street children,
children with rare disability [Autism, Deaf & Dumb, Blind, and Spastic
etc.], disaster struck children and slum children etc.
Smile Foundation, a national level development
organization, has a network of more than 100 children welfare projects
and a bandwidth of more s many NGOs and non-profits organisations across
on Status of Child Education in India
The litercay ratio of India
is 65.38% with male
literacy at 75.85% and female
literacy at 54.16%
Of the 193 million Children in the age group 6
to 14 years, 8.1 million children are out of school as of Sept 2004
as per Government statistics.
Net primary enrolment ratio in 2001/02 : 83 7%
Children reaching grade 5 in 2000/01 : 59 8 %
of Finance / Press Information Bureau Data
Number of Primary Schools in
India : 0.664 million (2001-02)
Number Upper Primary Schools in India : 0.219 million
Population in the age group of 6-14 years : 193 Million
Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools : 0.133 million; Enrollment
: 30.5 million
Findings from the Survey – ‘Social infrastructure like
education is as important as physical infrastructure, not only for
sustaining high growth but also for enhancing welfare. The root
of poverty often lies in illiteracy.’
of India 1991
- State with highest literacy rate : Kerala (89.8)
- State with lowest literacy rate : Bihar (38.5)
- District with highest literacy rate : Kottayam,
- District with lowest literacy rate : Jhabua,
Madhya Pradesh (19.0)
Facts on Education
- Less than half of India's children between the age 6 and 14
go to school.
- A little over one-third of all children who enroll in grade
one reach grade eight.
- At least 35 million children aged 6 - 14 years do not attend
- 53% of girls in the age group of 5 to 9 years are illiterate.
- In India, only 53% of habitation has a primary
- In India, only 20% of habitation has a secondary
- On an average an upper primary school is 3 km
away in 22% of areas under habitations.
- In nearly 60% of schools, there are less than
two teachers to teach Classes I to V.
- On an average, there are less than three teachers
per primary school. They have to manage classes from I to V every
- High cost of private education
and need to work to support their families and little interest
in studies are the reasons given by 3 in every four drop-outs
as the reason they leave.
- Dropout rates increase alarmingly in class III
to V, its 50% for boys, 58% for girls.
- 1 in 40, primary school in India is conducted
in open spaces or tents.
- In Andhra Pradesh (South India), 52 upper primary
schools were operating without a building in 2002, while in 1993,
there were none.
- In Maharashtra (West India), there were 10 schools
operating without a building in 1993, this has climbed to 33 in
- More than 50 per cent of girls fail to enroll
in school; those that do are likely to drop out by the age of
- 50% of Indian children aged 6-18 do not go to
Source: 7th All India
Education Survey, 2002
the children in India, for whom education
is a privilege. For a photo gallery of a few of our
children learning to have a Smile on their