A few years back The Times of India ran a front-page article focusing on a UNESCO report that revealed up to 90 percent of India’s school children remain illiterate after four years of education in state schools. This shocking statistic is exacerbated in India’s poorest states, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, where most of the slum children in the Outram Lines slum come from.
There have also been several cases of children in government schools across India being accidentally poisoned by contaminated cooking oil during school meals. The most high profile case was in early 2013 when over 20 school children died in one day after consuming a contaminated school meal in the state of Bihar.
The Delhi-based slum where Shiksha Rath is based is almost entirely made up of impoverished families displaced from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and a small number (10 percent) from Nepal.
Shiksha Rath has been involved with the slum for years and tried to place high achieving children into existing schools, but due to their background, these children are often bullied.
For this reason, it was decided a separate academy, purely for children within the slum, would be the only way to improve the situation, instill some hope and help combat the vicious cycle of poverty: Shiksha Rath was born.