RTI shows over 30,000 children in Maharashtra have never been to school
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information regarding the children in Maharashtra in the age group who should have been in standard I to IV.
The reply to the application revealed that more than 30,000 children in the state in the said age group have never been to school. Thane district has the largest number (9,339) of kids who never went to school. The corresponding number for Pune is 1,705. The RTI reply also stated that in 2011-12 over 5,000 children in urban areas, including beggars, child labourers, street children, waste pickers and children of sex workers never went to any school.
System Correcting Movement (Syscom), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which filed the application has claimed that figures shown by the government documents vary greatly from the reality. Rajendra Dharankar, president of Syscom said that the reply states that the number of child labourers in 2011-12 was 1,490 but the census data showed that around 7 lakh children were involved in child labour. He also cited the reply put the number of children living on streets was said to be 1,400 in the reply but a recent report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) put the number at over one lakh.