Talent schools proposed for socially deprived children
A CONSULTATION paper on the review of the working of the Constitution has proposed esta-blishment of 'talent' schools for children of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Ba-ckward Classes to nurture their capacities and capabilities.
Concerned that the pace of socio-economic change under the Constitution has failed to adequately address their needs, the paper pointed out that the prospects of talented children achieving their potential in India depended on their birth, particularly the socio-economic background of the family where they were born.
While children of well-to-do families have plenty of opportunities to encourage their potential, the talent of those born in socially and economically deprived circumstances wither away for want of opportunities.
"It is necessary, therefore, to identify and groom talent amongst the boys and girls of the SCs, STs and OBCs and train them in special talent schools to enable them to compete with the rest of the society in an equal manner," stressed the consultation paper. The theme of the paper is: "Pace of socio-economic change under the Constitution - Assurance of social and economic rights: how fair? how fast? How equal?"
The paper proposes that these residential talent schools should groom the SC, ST and OBC children for competitive excellence so that they could serve the country as administrators, scientists or professionals by retaining their sensitive awareness of the plight of the country's poor and without losing touch with reality.
The urgent need for such institutions was highlighted by the fact that half the country's ST population is concentrated in 40 districts while 50 per cent of its SC population spreads across 100 districts. The paper, which hopes to generate a public debate on the issue, has listed out these districts and suggested that the talent schools could be started in them.
Similarly, it pointed out, the latent talent of many a child is often submerged also due to neglect, deprivation and malnutrition. It proposes that the district administration monitor the nutritional status of at least 200 SC/ST families in 85 high risk districts enumerated by it.