Children on the Edge 2020 - India

Providing primary education for Dalit children in Bihar State

Making a difference for marginalised children living on the edge of their societies around the world

Years: 2020, 2021

Since 2015, Children on the Edge and local partner NESWS have delivered high-quality primary education and human rights awareness to impoverished Dalit children (ages 6-14) in Bihar state. Illegal yet culturally ingrained caste discrimination against the ‘untouchable’ Dalit minority in India causes children to be ostracised from education and denied their rights. Bihar is one of the poorest areas in India and abuse against Dalits is particularly high here.


This project will equip these children with the educational skills, rights knowledge and self-belief they need to stand up for themselves, reject child marriage and bonded labour, and claim their rightful access to state education and other services their communities are denied.


Working with local Indian NGO, Navjeevan Educational and Social Welfare Society (NESWS), Children on the Edge operate 27 learning centres in slums and rural areas around Patna in Bihar state for 815 primary age Dalit children. The project aims to:


- raise aspirations and improve confidence for 815 underprivileged children.

- deliver high quality primary education, enriched with rights education and opportunities for self-expression and creativity, for 815 children.

- encourage those children enrolled at state schools to attend them regularly and thrive. (The majortiy of NESWS children are enrolled at state schools but do not attend them regularly, if at all, due to discrimination and bullying from teachers and non-Dalit pupils. After a period of confidence building and when their skills have been brought up-to-standard at NESWS learning centres, they are supported to start regularly attending their state schools. Those that do, generally outperform their non-Dalit peers academically and have better social skills).

- support 40 children not currently enrolled in school to secure birth certificates and then enrol at and attend state schools.

- Improve health knowledge for whole communities as children take their new rights and health knowledge home.


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