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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
   Alleviating Poverty through Education (Human Rights)
 
 
 Educating Children in Need
  (India)
Alleviating illiteracy among Tribal and Street Children in India

The Indian Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (INFUCA) was established in 1985 with the mission of promoting literacy. INFUCA's activities generally consist in adopting village schools (at present 45 schools) and founding learning centres for illiterate adults (currently 140 centres). INFUCA now wishes to create a centre in Bangalore, in the State of Karnataka, for street children who live near the railway station and have no shelter. Besides providing material assistance to the children, the centre needs financial support for the acquisition of school supplies such as textbooks and stationary. INFUCA also works to promote literacy among children from Tribes, who often do not attend school as they live far from educational facilities. In this context, INFUCA seeks to build a boarding house for Korega children (untouchables) in Mangalore, which would allow children of the region to have an easier access to the school. Funds are therefore sought for the building of a small hostel in Kinnikambla, close to the already established learning centre.

Progress and Promise

  • The implementing organization, The Indian Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (INFUCA) has since its creation adopted 45 village schools and created 140 learning centres for illiterate adults and some 8000 adults have been educated, which demonstrated its competence in the promoting literacy.
  • INFUCA has already received some US$ 17,000 for this and it is currently in the process of implementing the first part of the project. Further funds are needed to complete the project.
  • The UNESCO Club movement was started in India in 1972 and INFUCA (The national federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations) was formed in 1985 and is a member of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs.

Facts

  • Only 27per cent of children in India were enrolled in the first grade of primary school in the school year 1993/94. (UNESCO's Statistical Yearbook 1996)
  • The Human poverty index value for India is 35,9 per cent. (I.e. over one third of the population are affected by three key deprivations in their lives: longevity, educational attainment and ability to buy basic goods and services) India's rank is 132 of 174 countries ranked by UNDP.
  • The number of primary schools increased almost threefold - from 210,000 in 1951 to 590,000 in 1995. As a result, literacy nearly tripled during 1951-91. Yet almost half the population - some 450 million people are still illiterate. For females seven years and older, the proportion is 61%. ("Poverty and Human Development in India: Getting Priorities Right" UNDP, by A K Shiva Kumar)
  • 53% of children under four in India - some 60 million - are estimated malnourished in 1996. ("Poverty and Human Development in India: Getting Priorities Right" UNDP, by A K Shiva Kumar)

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