Beside religion, language and economic status, Indian society is also studied under division of caste system, varying from higher to lower. This discrimination by caste has created extremely neglected, poor and weak segments in the society, especially due to unavailability of education to the people of lower castes. For time immemorial education has been the birth right of higher castes whereas lower castes, especially the schedule castes (most of which are also rated untouchable) were subjected to labor jobs. Unfortunately the caste discrimination is way too deep rooted even for the so called modern India, in villages education is still not the primary concern for people in the lower castes; sometimes when it is, lack of finances force them to stay uneducated.
Most of India’s rural population depends on agriculture. There are 2 types of people in this sector – 1. Farm/Land Owners – Population who owns the farm land, historically the majority of population in this group has been from Upper Caster. 2. Laborers – People who work in these farms as laborer on daily wages, historically almost entire population of schedule caste are laborers & depends on daily wages.
Below statistics from Uttar Pradesh census 2001; one of the most populous states in India shows the brutal reality. Only 46.3% of SC population is literate. And the distribution of literate population is shocking –
Census data is taken from government of India census website. Please refer for detail statistics.
- No education – Among the SC literates, who are either without any educational level or have attained education below primary level.
- Primary : Till Class 5th – The proportions of literates who have attained education up to primary level.
- Middle : Till Class 8th- The proportions of literates who have attained education up to middle level.
- Secondary/Higher Secondary : Till Class 12th- Literates who are educated upto matric/higher secondary.
- Graduates & above : Class 12th onward – Graduates, Post Graduates.
The above numbers shows that only 3% of literate population has basic skill set to apply for any formal employment.
Governments, public and private institutes, and we – the people, have the utmost responsibility to address the problems faced by the socially & economically vulnerable group in our country.
In 21st century, as we aim to build better future for everyone with the help of innovation, technology, science, we can’t afford to have a situation where our 1/4th of population don’t have even the formal education. If we don’t act today, this will lead major imbalance in the country which will lead to unforeseen consequences.
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