BACKGROUND

Parikrma is addressing the growing gap, in urban India, between those who benefit from the economic liberalization and the majority who do not.

Rural migrants who come to the city in search of better lives, rely on education to get beter jobs. Unfortunately, the government mass schooling system is in a state of disrepair. Dropout rates are close to 50% by class V and 70% by class VII. Attendance is as low as 15%. Further, the content of education is basic. Text books sub-standard, teachers poorly trained and teaching method outdated.

What is even more debilitating is that English is non-existent in these schools. The vernacular medium of instruction does not leave children with the confidence to study further, given that all higher learning is in English. Even those who pass out of these schools and go further have little ability and confidence to get equal access to the new age jobs available in a city like Bangalore, India’s IT capital.

Here, close to 700,000 people work in over 3000 IT companies from all over the world. Only 8-10% of this work force has gone through government-run schools, when in fact more than 80% of all children have access only to these schools. India’s sunrise industry is made up largely of people who have studied in private schools that make up just 15% of all schools in the country. No wonder then there are 800 slums in a city that 2 million call their home.

Can this situation change? Is it possible to bridge the huge gap that exists between the privileged and the poor? Can the poorest children from the slums get access to the best jobs?

Parikrma Humanity Foundation is attempting just that.

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