In the media
Smriti Sharma writes opinion piece on the role of education for Dalit children in India

UNU-WIDER Research Fellow Smriti Sharma has penned an opinion piece in Women and Girls, a news platform focused on issues faced by female populations in the developing world. She writes about the importance of reducing the educational disadvantage of Dalit children in India, who face serious social and economic challenges. In particular, Sharma brings attention to the efforts such as the Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project, which provides well-rounded, high-quality education as a means of boosting inclusion.

An extract from the article

‘Scaling up a model along the lines of Shanti Bhavan seems a promising avenue to increase education levels and incomes among Dalit communities in a sustainable manner. However, the subject of caste is so fraught that no one policy can adequately ensure social inclusion. Discriminatory attitudes toward Dalits are still a reality, even in urban India. In “Daughters of Destiny,” Karthika, a high-achieving student at Shanti Bhavan who gains admission to one of the country’s top law schools, worries that a prospective employer may consider her caste more important than her qualifications.

If schools of this type can equip a sufficient share of Dalit students with a good education, a critical mass of accomplished and prominent Dalits could begin to break down stereotypes, change the discourse around caste and pave the path for more meaningful interactions across caste groups.’

Read it in full here