Jatapara is a small village near Dumka, Jharkhand, India with 60+ families. Most of these families belong to a tribal community called Santals. The Santals are one of the largest tribal groups in Eastern India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Communities considered high cast in this area refer to the Santals as a low cast people group. They have been not only looked down upon but also exploited in many ways.
Though the government has been trying to bring development among them, they still live in extreme poverty. Their main source of income is agriculture. At the same time their agriculture is dependent on rain they receive during monsoon season. Due to the hilly area, irrigation is a challenge. As a result people either remain jobless or they go to cities to find jobs in factories and construction work. They bring their children to work alongside them, so the children do not get educated.
The government has started schools in almost all the villages but due to lack of teachers the education system is not functioning well. In addition, the parents have no taste of education (they are all illiterate). Therefore, even if children go to school because of mid-day food provided by government, they hardly learn anything. Most of these children don’t even go to school past the age of 12.