Unresponsive government, lack of transparency, poor infrastructure and non-participatory decision making — these are the issues that bother the poorest of the poor when it comes to educating their children.
As students from different colleges of Delhi University (DU) presented street plays in front of the residents of the resettlement colonies of Trilokpuri and Kalyanpuri at a community theatre festival, the grouse of hundreds of parents that had gathered to see the performances came pouring out.
“The number of parents who want to get their children educated has gone up by a large number in the past few years but the schools — both government and private — have not managed to keep up with the demand of quality education. The parents rue bad infrastructure and the way decisions are taken in schools without involving parents at all,” said Saurabh Sharma, member, Josh, an NGO that works in the field of education and has also organised the theatre festival.
Dramatics teams from Kirori Mal College, Shri Ram College for Commerce and former Miranda House students were the main participants along with a music band called Manzil.
The festival was centered on issues such as education — especially Right to Education Act — police atrocities, custodial violence, domestic violence and corruption. The residents of the area, meanwhile, discussed their problems in details with those present.
“While the government said they would help us out in the process of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) application, their own officers turned me out when I went to submit the form for my son. So nothing really has changed from last year to now,” said Umesh Kumar, who has been trying to get his son admitted to nursery for the last two years.