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Education and Poverty Issues in India by Stuti Garg

Nelson Mandela has been said that education is every child's basic right. Why wouldn't it be?  Education is the key to a successful future, giving us knowledge of the world around us and helps develop a perspective of looking at life. It is what gives children the power to form opinions, to think critically and take innovative approaches to everyday issues.

Education can help create more opportunities for employment and income, which can raise individuals out of poverty. Children who receive holistically and quality education are enabled and empowered to grow up into mature, skilled and qualified adults who are eligible for picking up employment or launch their own enterprise. It is our passport to the future and a necessity for children across the world. As important as education is, causes such as poverty and deprivation, war zones, and natural catastrophes are depriving countless children of a safe childhood filled with learning and books. This is especially evident in India, where around a quarter of all children do not have access to educational facilities due to their poor economic situation. These children are unable to buy books or spend time learning, rather they are forced into child labour and often spend a lifetime in low-income and back-breaking jobs. Youth are the future of any country, ensuring that they are prepared to support the nation is a key issue on any government agenda. This sentiment has been echoed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has stated, "This is an era of knowledge. This is the only potent route to fight poverty. We have to review our commitment to education." Literacy and poverty are directly linked to one another, forcing thousands of rural-based families into a vicious cycle. Education plays a key role in helping poor individuals across the hurdles of poverty. Research suggests that literacy rates in rural provinces are minimal; with educational quality being almost negligible as low socio-economic status prevents individuals from the privilege of a healthy environment with good school facilities. The lack of skills and knowledge limits employment opportunities leading into low-income - often back-breaking- jobs. This vicious cycle continues on and is transmitted to future generations, impossible to escape from. This disparity between educational resources leads to a larger gap in both literacy and poverty rates; destroying potential opportunities for millions of children across the country and hindering the growth of the nation as a wholeHow to we help end this cycle? Simple: education. A quality education equips students with long term literacy skills and a passion for further learning; literate individuals are more likely to gain higher-income jobs; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school and access opportunities; literate societies are geared to face challenges and create a stronger tomorrow. Initiatives have been taken through government organizations such as the SSA (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan) launched in 2001, which aimed to provide universal education to children between the ages of 6 and 14 and improve school effectiveness in terms of equal opportunities for equitable learning.However, there is still more work to be done, to truly eradicate extreme poverty, quality education must be promoted globally. What can we do? We are very fortunate to be living in a safe country with access to educational resources, which makes it our duty to help those in need. We can help by donating to foundations and charities that support children's education, donating our time by volunteering at these organizations or even by simply spreading awareness about the severity of these issues. Together we can create a stronger and more educated India.

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