What does it mean for education to be a fundamental right, and how may children benefit from it? Surprisingly, even when the right to education was added to the Indian Constitution as Article 21A, this question barely received any attention. The book identifies justiciability—or, more broadly, enforceability—as the most important feature of Article 21A, meaning that children and their parents must be provided with means to effectively claim their right from the State; otherwise, it would remain a ‘right’ only on paper.
The book highlights how lack of access to the Indian judiciary means that the constitutional promise of justiciability remains unfulfilled. It deals
with the possible alternative means the State may provide for the poor to claim the benefits under Article 21A, and identifies the grievance-redress mechanism created by the ‘Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’ as a potential system of enforcement. Even though this system is found to be deficient, the book concludes with an optimistic outlook, hoping that rights advocates may, in the future, focus on improving such mechanisms for legal empowerment.