Children on the Edge

Education for ‘untouchable’ Dalit children

Dalits in India face widespread discrimination and many Dalit children are illegally ostracised from state schools. In our learning centres, 900 Dalit children will gain the academic skills and self-confidence they need to access state schools and other services their communities are denied.

open_in_new https://www.childrenontheedge.org/

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1101441)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target

£40,000

Amount raised

£40,582

Time left

2 days

Donations

137

Championed by The Coles-Medlock Foundation

    Category

  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief

    Helping

  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Minority GroupsMinority Groups
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls

Location

India

  • At my old school, my teacher would ask me to read in front of the class. As I was not able to read properly, he beat me. I was punished every day so I stopped going. Later I started coming to the learning centre and have now been attending for 1.5 years. I like everything here. literally everything!

    — Nisha, Learning Centre pupil

  • Children on the Edge looks after those young lives who are marginalised – it is life changing, raw and makes a critical difference to those who need us the most. I so admire their work

    — Bear Grylls

Situation

Despite having equal rights in Indian law, the ‘untouchable’ Dalit minority remain at the bottom of the entrenched Hindu caste system and face persecution and violence from the police and dominant castes. They are regularly denied access to water, health care and fair employment. Most Dalit children are enrolled in state schools but many do not attend as they are bullied and beaten by teachers and pupils. Uneducated and unaware of their rights, Dalits remain marginalised and trapped in poverty.

Solution

Providing learning centres in slum and rural areas in Bihar state, so over 900 out-of-school Dalit children can learn the state curriculum. Many pupils are Musahar ‘rat eaters’, the most downtrodden Dalit subset; 75% are girls. Well trained, Dalit teachers are inspiring role models and there is a strong focus on building self-worth, rights awareness and confidence. Once ‘school ready’ children are supported to realise their right to a state education, where many outperform their non-Dalit peers.