this tyranny is okay- 2

according to the 2001 census 8,71,26,075 children of age 5-14 (of a total 25,31,63,648 children), or 34.4% of the total, were out of school. this figure (according to projections) fell to 4,32,74,861 (of 24,17,59,000 children of same age range), or 17.9% in 2006 [from page 6 of this paper: Abolition of Child Labour in India, Strategies for the Eleventh Five Year Plan submitted by National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to the Planning Commission, India].

what could've happened in 5 years to bring down the number of children out of school by half? the ruling classes chant a three word mantra as an answer: sarva shiksha abhiyan.

could ssa really have worked the miracle of bringing down out-of-school kids by nearly half, just a couple of years after its launch? that's what an economic times article (dated november, 2006) scanned and offered as success story on the ssa website says: Out-of-school-kids nearly halve (by urmi a. goswami). let me quote a couple of lines from the article:
The number of out-of-school children in the age group of 6-14 is down from 1.34 crore in 2005 to 70.56 lakh in the current year. With this the national average of out-of-school children is down from 6.94% to 3.59% in the current year. There are some 19.63 crore children between the age group of 6 to 14 years. Over the last four years, since the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was launched, the number of out-of-school children has been gradually reducing from 3.23 crore in 2001 to 70.56 lakh in march 2006.
because the ssa has proudly pasted this badly scanned news story on its website, it obviously approves of those figures. notice the difference in figures quoted by the first government agency (NCPCR) and the second (SSA)?

*out-of-school kids, according to ncpcr, were 8.71 crore in 2001.
*out-of-school kids, according to the article endorsed by the ssa, were 3.23 crore in 2001.
*out-of-school kids, according to ncpcr, were 4.32 crore (estimated) in 2006.
*out-of-school kids, according to the article endorsed by the ssa, were 70.56 lakh in 2006.

they don't seem to agree, do they? how about these figures?

*total number of kids between the ages 5-14 in india, according to ncpcr, were 24.17 crore in 2006 (estimated).
*total number of kids between the ages 6-14 in india, according to the article endorsed by the ssa, were 19.63 crore.

the ssa seems to have not only nearly halved the number of out-of-school kids in india it seems to have reduced their total population too by nearly one-fifth!

except for the census figures of 2001 on the number of children in india, i think all the other figures are wide off the mark. the ncpcr figures seem to be slightly closer to the truth. i think the number of out-of-school kids is definitely more than the 4.32 crore estimated by the ncpcr. most of those estimates follow the enrollment figures and the discrepancy between enrollment and attendance figures as estimated by other researchers is significantly high. according to Shelley Seale (The Weight of Silence: Invisible Children of India), the number of child labourers (i won't call them out-of-school kids because i don't think they're having fun out of school, even if the goi thinks otherwise) in india would be 100 million. and i agree with that figure.

the ssa is like the village deities of rural india or the godmen of the cities: they work magic when you're not looking, or they work magic when you're not ready to look (because you're too desperate). like many of those believers, the sainaths of india, you'll notice, also keep their eyes closed, mostly.

update: forgot to add- also on the ssa website, a report of a survey (conducted in 2005) which agrees with the economic times article on the figures.


Anonymous said...

The sublime reservation policy of Dr Ambedkar is the cure all for all ills of India. Reservations for the Child labourers (assuming they are all Dalits) should be the motto behind the movement.

anu said...

Sublime is the word. Since reservation = low caste, see how well it can be utilized by Nilakeni for his UID project, there is of course the problem of how do we know that all those losers are dalits? I could help him compute that bit; will write a code with some scales for dark, undernourished, uncultured, heathen like attributes into the biometrics. Once in the database, these can rapidly be herded to the gas chambers, the logistics then would be -children or women first, or all together, that is all that remains to be figured out.

This of course has to exclude DNA samples, which would give such a freakin soup, and send the wrong ones through those gates. Once each and every dalit is gassed and the chambers washed clean and purified (you know how). The general category can sit down and make India glimmer, finally getting to lay the plumbing, putting technology where the dalit had labored, and start living nice and pure. And to think all this would come from the policy of the good Dr. A, he did turn out to be a solution provider, after all.

Side benefits: SSA and others would be able to do simple math and not waste time falsifying data.

Kiran said...

Your are being too generous to Sainath. He does nothing but play brahmin politics. When CBN was in power many of his articles were political in nature ridiculing CBN and his politics. But after the pro-brahmin congress came to power his articles focus exclusively on "social" aspects.

kuffir said...


yes, sainath hasn't done any 'probing' reports on ysr until now. m.jakbar has called ysr's govt 'the most corrupt' in india. i consider it the 'most corrupt'govt in andhra pradesh since the state was formed. sainath's political preferences are definitely very questionable.

Anonymous said...

Indians outside the charmed circle of the meritorious know a different austerity. Food inflation in double digits. Vegetable prices rising 60 per cent in a year. Child malnourishment double that of sub-Saharan Africa. Families cutting back sharply on milk and essentials. Massive increases in health costs bankrupting millions. Farmers unable to afford inputs or access credit. A drinking water scarcity for many, as more and more of that life-giving substance gets diverted for other purposes. How much nicer to practise the austerity of the elite.


Add to Technorati Favorites