Hindi movie industry top rung actress and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra has joined the campaign for right of every child in India to go to school. Priyanka was appointed UNICEF national ambassador earlier this year.
The National award winning actress is lending support to the Awaaz Do campaign, and has voiced her support in a video message encouraging people to sign up on the campaign website. Priyanka said in the video “School was the best time of my life, I loved school. Every time I see kids going to school, it brings back such amazing memories of my own time,"
"Education can change lives. That's why I'm raising my voice for the 8 million children who are out of school... We've tried silence. It's now time to speak up for every child's right to be educated," she added.
The Awaaz Do campaign was launched nationwide in November to increase awareness of low schooling numbers in India. It is a fact that about eight million children in India, aged six to 14, still do not go to school.
Since the launch, more than sixteen thousand Indians have supported the cause, and signed up on the campaign website or by sending an SMS.
CBSE recently passed a circular to its affiliated schools informing them about UNESCO and Times Foundation's joint initiative "Donate a Book" (Read More). This initiative is meant to strengthen school libraries by receiving voluntary donations from students, teachers and parents.
Though the initiative is appreciated, and the goals noble, I believe its a step in a relatively lower priority direction. With Right to Education Act (RTE Act) related direction setting happening, and initiatives being chalked out, the Donate a Book initiative should have targeted a higher priority problem which will result from the admission of economically under-privileged children (belonging to a weaker section or a disadvantaged group) into the private schooling system. The Act asks the school to provide the learning material. Guess, how will this get funded in real life? Other children (who are not under-privileged) will bear the subsidy brunt.
How about getting older text books (and related material) from the non-under-privileged children donated to a pool and then distributed to the children who benefit from RTE? Sure, these children will not end up with new books thus somewhat violating the RTE principle of discrimination (perhaps), but surely better being resented! So, instead of filling libraries, it really might be a better idea for children (who can afford to do so) donate to their juniors instead.
This might be something that KOOLSKOOL will help facilitate in the future at least at the schools that it operates in.