Other Sides of the Convention

Balarka Brahma

India. 2012 – 2014

India’s 150 million Muslims represent more than 13 percent of the country’s population and its largest minority. And like many minority populations around the world they lag the rest of the nation in education and employment. Government data show just 11 percent of India’s Muslims take up higher education. The situation is worse in rural communities, where the figure is less than 7 percent.

The reasons are plenty: Poverty, communal standards, the inability of government agencies to implement effective policies all play a role to some degree. But in some areas things are beginning to change, slowly.

The government has introduced modern education in Madrasa board curriculum. In some areas several NGOs are campaigning with help of local scholars to spread the importance of education and encourage parents to send their children to school.

The efforts remain limited, however, and continuing education for the country’s Muslim minority may yet be confined to the few who can afford it.