What do people usually do in their life?
Mostly, they work.
So what’s wrong if they start a bit early. Say, about the time they are ten years old.
I admit, that doesn’t sound good at all!
Please allow me to put it in another way.
I’m writing about children who live in slums, on the road, in some impoverished village. What do these children hope for? Do they look at some movie poster and would they like to be the movie-star… No, I don’t think so. Its more likely that when they stare inside the window of a car they’re polishing at a traffic crossing, they hope for some food that can be easily begged off. Because they have some very basic needs that haven’t been met. Food, clothes, and a roof. So clichéd this sounds.
How many would these children be? I have no clue, and neither does the government - this I’m sure of. So I’ll just rattle a figure off the top of my head. About a million? No? Sounds too much? Okay I’ll think aloud and come with an acceptable figure (that is, acceptable to all of us – we don’t like to be reminded of our failings as a nation). We are about a 100 crores strong (or weak!). A thousand million, so half a percent should do it... half a mill - five lakh? Even that’s a big figure. At 100 children per school (remember these are slums and villages we are talking about), we’d need about 5000 schools. Is the government capable of building these? They already don’t do a very good job at running the ones that they already have. You also need to consider that most government schools in India aim to make children literate rather than educated. That’s just being able to make children write their names and count and some history lessons on our great glorious past. Not too employable material, are they! Okay, even if they get into college which a lot of those who pass 12th grade do (I read somewhere, that India produces 6 times more graduates than China does), does the B.A., B.Com., and B.Sc. courses really make them any more employable?...