Education in India has come a long way post-independence. While earlier, the education was merely a means for the urban community, now it has been percolating to the lower strata as well, reflected in the rise in the number of students going to school. The gross school enrollment ratio increased from 102.96% in 2003 to 108% in 2014 as per World Bank data.
However, on the flip side, much still needs to be done. The infrastructure in government schools is not up to the mark. Certain remote corners in our country still don’t have enough number of schools schools and children there either remain uneducated or have to travel long distances for schooling.
‘Ebion’ For The Mishing Children
One such notable fundraiser has been initiated by an NGO, the Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development for Ebion Public School, Majuli Island, Assam. Majuli is a large river island in the Brahmaputra River. It is an agriculture dominated place, mainly inhabited by the Mishing Tribe. The island is only accessible by a ferry from the closest city, Jorhat. Owing to its location in the midst of the river, the tribal children of this place lack good educational facilities. To bridge this gap, Society for Promotion of Tribal Welfare and Development set up a school here. Ebion, which literally implies justice sought by poor people, is a noble initiative by which an effort is made towards educating the tribal population, enabling them to get closer to the mainstream.
However, due to paucity of funds, the school lacked proper infrastructure. The bamboo and tin sheet building was always susceptible to floods, the thing common to this region. It also lacked proper toliets, libraries, furniture, fans and the like. Imagine the plight of students and the teachers who tried to work in such conditions!
The fundraiser for this school on Ketto accumulated ₹4,43,245 with 47 supporters. Such was the success of the fundraiser that the school has initiated another fundraiser for further improvements in the school and its facilities!
Girls Off To School
Likewise, there’s another school in Ghazipur built by the Ajivam Educational Society Trust. This school touches another significant aspect of inclusion of girls in education. As per a survey, only 12.4% of female population in India in the age group of 15-19 has primary schooling.
Thus, this school endeavours to bring equal educational opportunities and facilities for girls and boys at a minimum fee. This is a first of its kind school in Ghazipur where girls are also encouraged to get enrolled. Surya Sen, the founder, has initiated a fundraiser on Ketto to set up the first public library in the district. He hopes and strives for the library to bring about a social change in the favour of education of the girl child. So far, Surya has raised ₹3,97,045 with 70 supporters for his cause and we hope for him to reach his goal.
Sunshine For Nikita!
When it comes to educating the girls, it’s not just the rural population that bears the brunt. Differently abled people also struggle to receive education. In this regard, there is an interesting account of Nikita Shukla. Nikita, who is completely blind, is a voracious reader and good in academics.
However, her parents were not keen on educating her further, due to her disability. She won a contest conducted by Radio City. While she was at the radio station to collect her reward, she told her story to RJ Sucharita Tyagi. Moved by her story, Sucharita decided to start a fundraiser on Ketto and that’s how her dream of getting into a college got funded! Her beautiful gesture got over Rs. 5 lakh in the first few hours itself and that landed Nikita in a Law college in Navi Mumbai!
Apart from inclusion of tribal children and girl population in education, another issue is inclusion of children of sex-workers. The occupation of their parents forever marks a stigma on these innocent children who live their life with minimum opportunities to improve their future. However, strong will, hard work and goodwill can do wonders for anybody. This has been proven by the story of Shweta Katti from Mumbai.
Shweta, a daughter of a Mumbai based sex-worker was the first woman from Mumbai’s red light district area, Kamathipura to have completed her basic schooling and gone overseas for higher education. Her dream turned into reality by MTV’s fundraiser on Ketto which gathered ₹6,21,550 for sponsoring her living expenses overseas till the completion of her course.
Education is a fundamental right of every individual in our country. However, there’s still a long path to traverse for this to become a reality for every child. Crowdfunding Platform is one initiative in this direction and we hope to bring a bigger change with this by making education available for one and all.