Bhubaneswar, March 18 (LocalWire): Ten years have passed since the government had introduced the Right to Education Act for free and compulsory education in primary classes, but sadly though, the bane of not having a formal schooling continues to haunt children in states like Odisha.
Meet this six-year-old child whose parents are daily wage earners at a construction site here.
Under the scorching heat of the sun, as she waited for her mother who promised to bring an ice-cream, LocalWire began a friendly chat with her about school and favorite subjects.
Asked if she goes to school, surprisingly she said, “I don’t know what a school is. My mother tells me that when I’ll be 7 years old, I’ll also work like her.’
When other children of her age go to schools and live in comfort of their homes, Shruti (name changed) only dreams of becoming a daily laborer like her parents.
“I don’t know when my mother will come but she had promised to bring me an ice cream today,” she said, as she sat over a pile of stones.
At 6 pm. when her mother returned, she eagerly shows her the prized stones she collected.
“I can’t even afford school uniform for my child, let alone other expenses, I work hard for our survival. There’s no time to think about her education,” the mother said.
It’s unfortunate that the Right to Education Act 2009, which seeks to provide free and compulsory education to children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, has failed in Shruti’s case, and perhaps many more like her in the state.
A recent survey conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) has showed that over 3.5 lakh children, in the age group of 5 to 14, work along with their parents to earn a living.