You are privileged. You can read this page. But it has to be more than a privilege. It has to be every child's right.
The 2011 Census suggests that about a fourth of India is illiterate. But the real number of people who can actually read and write is even lower.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) says there are 45 million children of school-going age in India who don't go to school but have to work. Of those who enroll in school, many drop out because their families are simply too poor to keep them there. This needs to change.
Today, Hindustan Times starts that effort.
We at HT are proud to begin an initiative that we have called "You Read; They Learn", a year-round programme to help educate underprivileged children in Delhi-NCR.
And for this, we seek your participation. For each of the lakhs of Metro copies of Hindustan Times sold in Delhi-NCR, we'll set aside five paise every day towards the effort to educate underprivileged children.
To ensure that we can do this in the very best manner, we are partnering with the most credible NGOs working in the field of primary education.
But that is not all. You, dear reader, are our most valuable partner in this endeavour. We request you to take action in your own way to help educate underprivileged children around you. Do let us know your plans and ideas.
Over the year, HT will also focus on the problems that need immediate attention and how to solve them. Our reporters and writers will dig out stories of change, of people making a difference and of your contribution to the lives of children whom nobody has time for.
Because reading and learning must be every child's right. Not just the privilege of a few.
Sanjoy Narayan, editor-in-chief