Rough estimates indicate that nearly 60-70 million children in the age group of 6-13 years do not attend school in India and remain deprived of the basic right to learn. This despite the face that the goal of the universalization of elementary education has been a stated objective of the indian nation state. Existing information clearly reveals that the majority of children outside the school system belong to poor and other deprived groups. The study focuses on understanding schooling participation from the perspective of poor and deprived families and analysing the present policy and interventions in the context of this understanding. Basic livelihood insecurity, adverse socio-political positioning, lack of school accountability and oversimplification of equity issues in policies and delivery modes emerge as critical issues.
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