Urban Poverty in Bhopal
Urban poverty is alarmingly high within Madhya Pradesh. Muskaan works with the most marginalised urban poor slum children and their communities, in Bhopal city. Children are typically seen as ‘slum’ children, ‘child labour’ or ‘rag-picking’ children or children ‘working’ at home. They are also referred to as ‘never-enrolled’ or ‘drop-outs’.
Why are these children not attending Government Schools?
"Starting from class 1 to class 12 there would be 100 reasons why children can drop out and not 5 reasons why children can stay" Shivani Taneja, Secretary, Muskaan
There are many reasons for the high drop out rates of slum children, including:
× they are rebuked and humiliated at school for their class and identity
× irrelevant curriculum does not relate to their life experiences
× rote learning and rigidity in rules and methods is non-engaging and ineffective
× parents are unschooled and cannot provide home support
× children are working, such as scrap-picking, to support the family’s subsistence
× children are vulnerable to poor health and family violence
× girls are pressured to marry and have family on reaching puberty
× finding a quiet space to study at home is difficult in the slums
Slum children are trapped in a cycle of poverty