SC/ST illiteracy linked to livelihood issues

Almost half of ST population, quarter of SC population have no education
Chennai: Lack of steady occupation, meagre earnings leading to a below poverty line livelihood and societal exclusion and more factors are managing to keep the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities in the state from making progress, say experts.
As per the Census 2011 data, the state has around 1.44 crore SC and 7.94 lakh ST community population belonging to various castes. Though the SC/ST population has improved from 2001 Census data, one thing that stands out is the percentage of people who have stated that they have never attended schools – 26.34 per cent for SC and 44.67 per cent for ST.
In other words, almost half the ST population in the state and a little more than a quarter of SC population, (calculated after excluding the 0-4 age bracket) have stated that they have had no access to education due to various socio-economic factors.
Without giving job security to the parents of Dalit and tribal children, the state cannot educate them, feels CPI (M) MLA and state executive committee member A. Laser. Laser, who won the polls from the reserved constituency of Periyakulam in Theni district, said though the government had worked to ease the financial burden of Dalit families through quotas in education system, scholarships and free textbooks, it still wasn’t enough for families living below the poverty line.
The government should ensure job security and decent wages, even if it is a casual labourer’s job, he added. Academicians said a lack of follow up on policy implementation was hampering the government’s progress in this regard.
When DC reached out to the state Adi Dravidar and tribal welfare minister, N. Subramanian, his personal assistant said the minister will not be available for comment in view of the Assembly session.
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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