If you believe the U.S. president Barack Obama, yes, it is. But can we close our eyes to the reality around us and give credence only to the words of the so-called most powerful person on the earth? No, we are not yet there, in fact we are many leagues short of the destination. We still have tens of millions of children who, instead of attending school, have to look after their younger siblings, freeing their parents to do wage earning labour or themselves do back breaking work on agricultural fields or in rudimentary factories weaving carpets, rolling beedis or making fireworks to support their families. These children are a hostage to their parents’ poverty.
We have to liberate them and compulsorily educate them till the age of eighteen, not fourteen as the Right to Education envisages, thereafter send the academically oriented to colleges and the rest to vocational training institutes. And this has to be at zero cost to their families. This will be country’s most paying investment in its own future. Let India do this year in, year out for two decades and then yes, it will have emerged as a real power.