Children of daily wage workers deprived of education

Children of daily wage workers deprived of education

It has come to light recently that the children of daily wage workers from Assam, who are employed in various coffee plantations in the district, are being deprived of education.

Legal issues have also been preventing such children from getting education in the State.
In the wake of acute shortage of workers in the coffee plantations of the Malnad region, there is an increasing demand for workers from Assam. The children of such workers, who come down from Assam with them, have been staying in the district and helping their parents in small household works.

As many as 30,000 workers from Assam have been working in the coffee plantations in the district. Most of them speak Assamese, while only a few of them can communicate in Hindi. For instance, in Doobala coffee estate in Balehonur, there are more than 40 daily wage workers from Assam origin.

The workers, who are not accustomed to the region, are not willing to send their wards to the local government schools. Moreover, there is no proof of identity with them, except their voter’s identity cards. There is no document to certify the age of their children, which is mandatory for admission.

A local teacher said, on the condition of anonymity, that the children of Assamese workers, even though are admitted to schools, find it difficult to mingle with local children and to follow the instruction of teachers, mainly because of the language barrier. “Under such circumstances, the learning process is a challenge for them,” added the teacher.

Due to all these reasons, hundreds of such children have been away from schools and are being tagged as illiterates as they are not acquainted with reading and writing skills.

While their parents set-off to their work at coffee plantations, the children spend their time by roaming about freely in the forest. They have their breakfast and a supper, and skip the afternoon meal.

As the children who are aged about three years, too, loiter around aimlessly, they could not be admitted to an anganwadi centre. According to an estimation, 5,000 children are deprived of school education, which will become a cause for concern to the district administration in the days to come. Along with Doobala, many other areas in the district, encounter a similar problem.

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