Religious beliefs in NE slow down literacy drive | india | Hindustan Times
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Religious beliefs in NE slow down literacy drive

It is not only poverty-ridden children who are a problem for managers of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. Even religious beliefs of certain sects in the north-eastern states is keeping children away from schools.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2006 11:53 IST

It is not only poverty-ridden children who are a problem for managers of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan. Even religious beliefs of certain sects in the north-eastern states is keeping children away from schools.

And to give them education, the state governments have been asked to be forceful. The first step in this direction appears to have been taken by Mizoram. It instructed the state’s child welfare committee on Tuesday to take away 14 children if their parents continue to deprive them of education.

The children belong to a religious sect headed by Lalliani, a high priest in village Melriat, and are not being sent to school as the sect preachers want to keep away from anything that has got to do with government or any such organisation.

The action is expected to be taken by the committee on Sunday, when a team is expected to visit Melriat village. The kids will be kept in children’s home of the state government.

Mizoram has a high literacy rate of 88.49 per cent and is next only to Kerala. But there are some religious sects, which are against any formal mode of education. They prefer giving religious education to the children.

These sects have been warned by Sarva Siksha Abhiyan authorities and officials for denying the fundamental right to education to the children. Officials in the HRD Ministry say the problem is rampant in many states of the region like Manipur, Arunachal and Tripura.