Why do India’s governments have no long-term plans to tackle poverty through education?
Fixing the cycle of poverty – preventing descents and enabling escapes – is eminently possible. Other middle-income countries have much lower levels of poverty. It requires, however, that things work well in the public realm – that everyone, and not just the few who are assisted currently by social service organisations, get access to high- quality health and education and career guidance. But all around us these systems are broken, and it isn’t evident that the government has been investing in making the repairs that are essential.
Journalist Rahul Pandita provides the following vignette in his book from central India: “Vanessa, a French journalist who is with us, is keen to know whether there is a school nearby and if a teacher ever takes classes there...Dolu laughs. ‘Guruji [the teacher],’ he says, ‘he comes every year on 15 August, unfurls the national flag, and that is it. We never see . . .