When you actually explain to people that the fish here refers to a quality education and its impact it can have on his/her career. Despite the presence of corporation schools providing free education and even incentivizing children with a mid-day meal, the literacy rate across many states in India is dangerously low, especially in the rural areas.
Child labour on the other hand is very high in these areas as parents prefer to send their children to work. The small income they earn through goes primarily for buying food or sometimes snatched away to get some alcohol for the family elder. When asked if the child can go to school instead of working, usual reply will be “how will that help the family survive for the next few months or year” . Some states like Rajasthan, Bihar etc have even lower literacy rates compared to other states which can be an alarming factor
When you take into account a gender ratio in schools, its highly tilted in favour of boys than girls. One keeps harping on the fact that education is strictly to read and write or differentiate between right and wrong. But the true impact of education is much more. It provides an immense potential to every student to survive in this tough corporate world, leverage their education to learn even better things and of course earn a fair amount of money in a respectable career. The impact may be felt when the person finishes his education and finally lands his most coveted job.
The problem with developing nations like India is that they want results to be achieved overnight. They are sometimes impatient especially when it comes to development in key areas, esp infrastructure and education. Though there are hundreds of funds being setup by the government to aid education initiatives it is not reaching the intended spot and hence the program goes for a toss. TamilNadu saw a surge in school admissions in corporate schools when students were given a mid-day meal along with an egg, but that too fizzled out after a couple of years.
To fix this issue, the impact of education should be strongly communicated through widespread programs and ensure it is mandatory for every child below 15 years to definitely be enrolled in a particular school and if his absent rate increases past a certain threshold, his parents should be pulled up and fined accordingly. Education is the only thing that can save a country like India and make it a truly developed nation , atleast in the forthcoming decades and stand as a superpower