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The Tej Kohli Foundation – Helping To Educate India’s Children

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The prevalence of poverty in India is a major issue in both urban and rural settings. Rural Indians, dependent on unpredictable agricultural incomes are especially vulnerable. More than 75 per cent of India's poorest citizens live in rural areas. Indians living in urban areas have a chance at employment, but jobs continue to be scarce in comparison to demand.

One of the biggest issues impacting poverty in India is the nation's long history of social division. Caste and ender inequities persist with women and children feeling the blunt of deprivation. However, the major predictor of poverty in India isn't caste, gender or illiteracy: its landlessness. International companies and rich farmers own the majority of farmable land.

In India, more than 20 million rural farmers own no land while millions more do not have the legal right to live or work the land they live on. The lack of land ownership throws a dark shadow contributing to the majority of the problems associated with poverty: illiteracy, malnutrition, child marriage and the disenfranchisement of women.

Women and children suffer from hunger and the accompanying perils of poverty more so and in greater numbers than men. Trapped in an endless cycle of poverty and lacking opportunities to change their own and their family’s situation, many suffer in quiet desperation; devoid of hope.

India born billionaire businessman Tej Kohli, visionary philanthropist and founder of the Tej Kohli Foundation, believes “All children in India must complete their elementary education if India’s dreams of a better future are to be realized for everyone.”

Although the Foundation heartily supports the passing of India’s Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009, which creates a chance for children whose family cannot afford to pay school fees to receive an education, the Foundation clearly recognizes that the law is not enough. Challenges to universal education still exist. A shortage of qualified teachers and facilities is a major problem, as are the economic status of the child’s parents and the wider community.

The Tej Kohli Foundation is dedicated to philanthropic projects that aim to help each and every child complete their elementary education. It has begun supplementary programs that are aimed at helping children develop specialized skills in their areas of interest. The Foundation also supports charities that provide pre-school facilities and offers financial support to underprivileged students to enable them to join institutions of higher education.

The Tej Kohli Foundation is determined to reduce the rate of poverty by providing children, expectant mothers and adolescent girls with a balanced diet to eradicate the major causes of malnutrition in the country. There is a dire need for intervention by charitable foundations, non-governmental organizations, and the general population. The Foundation believes that although the prevention and treatment of child malnutrition in the first two years of life needs to be a national priority, there are plenty of opportunities to combat malnutrition, and hopes that other organizations and individuals will accept the challenge and collectively respond to help more than 60 million under-privileged children.

Tej Kohli, international businessman and chief donor to the Tej Kohli Foundation says, “Children determine the future. If a country nurtures these children’s talents from a young age, it will be capable of raising its living standards. The Tej Kohli Foundation cannot cater to each and every child in India but we hope our work will encourage our country to unite and make life better for Indian children”.

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