Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Human Rights


What are human rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings irrespective of of religion, nationality, ethnic origin , colour and gender. The basic rights include the right to life and liberty , freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law. I would like to add that right to education too is a basic right.


Why is education necessary?

When India attained independence in 1947  , there were many children unlettered and slipping into a dark future. There is hope where education is a right of every child.

Every child born has a right to go to school ,learn the 3 R's i.e. reading , writing and arithmetic.  Education empowers a human being to a good start in life , it equips the person to earn his living and livelihood and ultimately his/her independence , boosts his confidence and prevents unscrupulous people from taking advantage. Education  holds the promise of ensuring a bright and stable future for the children.

 The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A in the Constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as a Fundamental Right

The RTE Act provides for the:
(i) Right of children to free and compulsory education till completion of elementary education in a neighbourhood school.
(ii) It clarifies that ‘compulsory education’ means obligation of the appropriate government to provide free elementary education and ensure compulsory admission, attendance and completion of elementary education to every child in the six to fourteen age group. ‘Free’ means that no child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee or charges or expenses which may prevent him or her from pursuing and completing elementary education.
(iii) It makes provisions for a non-admitted child to be admitted to an age appropriate class.
(iv) It specifies the duties and responsibilities of appropriate Governments, local authority and parents in providing free and compulsory education, and sharing of financial and other responsibilities between the Central and State Governments.
Figures and statistics :
India is home to 19% of the world’s children. About one-third of its population  is below the age of 18, and around 74% of this population lives in rural areas. The population of people in the age-group 0-25 years is  54% of the country’s total population. Indeed, India has the world’s largest number of youngsters.
Around 1,618 languages, 544 dialects and 1,942 mother languages are spoken in India; schools impart education in 148 different mediums. Some 27,000 small and big newspapers and magazines are published in the country. All of this poses a huge challenge to India to produce educated and empowered young citizens.
India also has one-third of the world’s illiterate population -- a worrisome trend.

Inspite of implementing the RTE Act and the recognition of Education as a basic right , what ails our country to be fully literate.
Many parents are themselves illiterate and are unaware of the Government policies and Acts. The children are working in hotels ,construction sites etc and are always on the move. It becomes difficult at times impossible to keep a track of these children.
Children are not motivated enough to study and learn. The environment at their home is not conducive to learn.
In many school the posts of the teachers lie vacant. There is a time-lag in appointing and training teachers for particular areas.
Teachers are not willing to settle and teach in far-flung , remote areas.
Poverty is a cancer like disease eroding the very fabric of the society. Due to low income of the parents , children are pulled out of school to supplement the family income. An extra pair of helping hands are always welcome.
The most affected lot are the children of lower socio-economic strata of the society. Uplifting this belt of the society is the need of the hour and has to be tackled on a war footing basis. There is also an urgent need to bridge the gap between the urban and rural literacy.
I wish a day will dawn when every child of India proudly walks to school and every year walks out of school , educated, learned and knowledgeable to enroll himself to higher education. Let us all join hands together to a make this dream come true.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
Human rights are necessary because every human life 
matters. Not just the life but the quality of life matters