My family is very poor and I dropped out of primary school revealed the lone arrested perpetrator of the attack on Mumbai. The words sent a chill down my spine. For the last decade we at pwhy have been striving to ensure that such children do not drop our of school and do not become easy fodder to lurking predators. Our efforts may look herculean to us but are just a drop in the ocean. Delhi alone has hundred of thousands of children who still drop out of school.
Everyone is today trying to find ways and means of ensuring that what happened last week in India's financial capital never occurs again. Suggestions of all sorts are being held forth and many are indeed worthy. I am no politician, nor strategist, neither am I part of any intellectual group of think tank. I am a simple citizen who has for the past few years been trying to answer a simple question - why do children drop out of school - and find simple solutions. I can say with pride that for the last almost ten years every child we have reached out to had not dropped out of school. True that what we do is a tiny drop in a huge ocean but nevertheless we did what we could within our very limited resources and we did it without government or institutional help.
Let me assure you that this post is not meant to be one that extols our work. Far from that. It is a very humble plea to all those who today are looking for solutions to also take into account an important factor that often gets forgotten. To perpetrate terror predators need vulnerable minds that can be manipulated and brain washed. One must think of drying that source once for all and one can only do that if children are given a proper education an equal opportunities. I admit that this is not the solution everyone is hankering one. It is not the one that makes you feel immediately safe: an AK 47 to answer an AK 47. Nevertheless it is one we have to consider and moreover it is one everyone can contribute to and participate in.
During the past few years I have often been told quite bluntly by those I approach for help: why give quality education to the poor! The answer is obvious if we chose to see it.