No Education for Dalit Children??

What does one say to a parent whose desire to educate her child falls flat on its face as a result of caste-based discrimination? In this video VV-PACS Correspondent Mahesh reports on the hurdles the Dalit community of Hujra Sharif Village in Uttar Pradesh is facing in educating their children.

Till a year ago the children in Hujra Sharif travelled 2 kilometres away to get to a school. When a Government Primary school was about to open there in July 2013, the air was full of hope. The children would go to school near their homes. And yet, 6 months later many of the community’s children face apathy from the school administration.

“Many people can afford to send their children to big schools.It is difficult for us, we are poor and so we send them to this primary school. Now where do we go when they refuse to enrol them?”, asks Prabhavati whose son Anmol has not been admitted to the neighbourhood school.

Anmol is one of several children who have not been given admission into the Government Primary School in Hujra Sharif. Some of the children do attend the school but the fact that their names do not appear on an admission list means they could be asked to leave at any point.

Not being formally admitted also means that these children do not have access to school books, notebooks to write in or even allowed to give exams. So essentially they just sit in a class and come home dejected.

“I did speak to the person who is in charge of the school. She told me that we should send the children regularly and they will be enrolled. We do send them daily, in fact more regularly than other children but we haven’t seen any formal paper work being done. You know what is really bizarre? There are children on that admission list who go to a private school. Our children who cannot afford the private school are not getting the benefit of government schools”, says Mahesh. His nephew and niece are among the affected children.

The Right to Education Act guarantees education for all regardless of a child’s sex, religion, caste identity. The refusal to admit these children is not only a violation of laws but outright disrespect for a community.

Call to Action: Please call the Headmaster on 08423963716 and tell him to get the children admitted to the school immediately.

About the Partnership: The Poorest Areas Civil Society (PACS) Programme and Video Volunteers have come together to create the Community Correspondents Network. The videos generated by the network will be able to highlight voices from the margins, providing skills to social communicators to provide advocacy tools to community based organizations.

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