Over 30% children in the age group of 6 and 14 years, from 17 urban settlements in the city, have either dropped out of school or were never enrolled, a survey has found. The data compiled from three districts — northeast, east and Shahdara — also shows that 62.6% of the elderly population are not receiving pension and other old-age benefits.
The survey, conducted by Institute for Human Development supported by Mahila Pragati Manch and Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), was carried out between October 2017 and March 2018.
The total sample size of the survey is 14,339 respondents, comprising 3,004 households across 17 slums. Of the 3,914 children in the age bracket, 2,395 go to government schools, 241 go to private schools, seven go to madrasa and 1,086 dropped out of school owing to different factors; while 185 of them never enrolled in any educational programme. The reasons varied, with 37% citing lack of interest, 16% had to support their families, 13% had to work at home and 10% failed in examinations.
Among the disabled persons living in the area, 24 of the 64 children with disabilities had never been enrolled in school. “With no support system, how do we expect the parents who are mostly illiterate to overcome all the hurdles and provide them with education?,” said Vimla from Mahila Pragati Manch. With regard to the findings, Ambarish Rai, national convenor of the RTE, said, “This shows how RTE implementation has been poor at the grassroot level.”
Apart from the education exclusion, the survey also looks at how effectively the pension scheme has reached the elderly. The survey found that out of the 2,199 (15.3%) elderly respondents, 1,378 (62.6%) were not receiving pension and old-age benefits. “The main reason behind this was that they had problems with their bank account and Aadhaar cards,” said Vimla.
With 79% living in the 17 slums as widows, around 31% are not getting widow pensions. Similarly, of the 444 children with disabilities in the age group of 6 and 17 years, 176 (39.6%) do not have disability certificate, and hence, are not able to access any schemes.