It is authentic now. According to the Census 2011, 8.4 crores of children in the age group covered under the Right to Education Act (REA) are not attending school. It means that about 20% of the total eligible children in the age group are denied education, a fundamental right.

Even seven decades of Independence, India, claiming as the biggest democracy in the world, is far behind even many African countries with regard to elementary education. The central governments, both under the Congress (UPA) and the BJP (NDA), never took any serious interest in the education of the poor and the marginalised, since they probably felt that arming the poor with education is a threat to the present social order where the corporates, rich and feudal landlords rule the country. It is only in the two states of Kerala and Tripura, which have Left Party Governments for long periods that literacy is 100%. Education is one of the area which is given top priority by the Left parties.

According to the Census 2011, about 78 lakh school going children have to work for a living, for existence, in India which has banned child labour. The government preaches one thing and act entirely on the contrary. The present NDA government has announced hundreds of plans (yojanas), but what about their implementation? It is not different from what the earlier governments have been doing, including in the case of education. A shame on the Governments!

The Left Parties, progressive forces, trade unions and other similar forces should take up the issue in right earnest and ensure universal education to the children. It should be treated as a fast-track job.It is also necessary to remove the large scale poverty in the country to achieve the same.