The right to education is a birth right of every Indian child. Education in our country has a long and glorious history that dates back to the Vedic period. In Indian, people from different socio cultural sects live in harmony with each other. It is said that in India, one can see a unity in diversity. The Government of India took many initiatives to ensure equal status and education for all, irrespective of caste, economic condition, gender and social status. However, India is still having the lowest female literacy rate in Asia. In cities, we can see almost 100% children, boys and girls, are getting education. But in the Indian villages, the situation is still not in an improved condition. Most of the parents are not willing to send their girl child to the school.
The parents in the villages prefer to send their boys to the schools. The social barriers and rigid customs often become a berried to the education of the girl child in our country. Moreover, many parents are also not willing to send their girls to a co-educational school. Thus it has become very important to remove these social barriers first if we want our country to prosper.
Many NGO’s in the country are working hard to remove social evils that prevent education from reaching every door step. The NGO’s are using traditional medium such as puppetry, jatra and kirtan to make the illiterate section of the country understand the importance of education for all. This low rate of literacy among woman not only harms their self-esteem and development, it also impacts the development of their family. A woman plays various roles in her lifetime- daughter, sister, wife and mother. The education and development of children depends much on their parents, especially their mother. Thus it is very important for a girl to be educated.
It is said that when a man becomes educated, the man only develops; but when a woman becomes educated, the whole family develops. Numerous studies show that illiterate women have generally high levels of maternal mortality, poor nutritional status, low earning potential, and little autonomy within the household. A woman’s lack of education also has a negative impact on the health and well being of her children. For instance, a recent survey in India found that infant mortality was inversely related to the mother’s educational level. Additionally, the lack of an educated population can be an impediment to the country’s economic development.
To improve the educational standards amongst girls, the Government of India had launched National Program for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) in the year 2003. This program was targeted to reach the girls who didn’t get a chance to study in schools. The supervisors closely monitor the growth of every girl under this program so that a higher level of success can be achieved. Gender sensitization of teachers, development of gender-sensitive learning materials, and provision of need-based incentives like escorts, stationery, workbooks and uniforms are some of the endeavors under the program; but to make such efforts successful, the common people of the country need to come forward and provide their supportive hands.