India has by far the world’s largest population of illiterate adults. A whopping 287 million people are illiterate, which is about 37 percent of their overall population. With staggering statistics like this, it is no wonder why many children in India are illiterate as well.

Why does India have such high illiteracy rates?

Gender inequality. Women in India are often constrained to gender-specific roles such as cooking and cleaning. Girls make up roughly two-thirds of the population of illiterate 15-24 year olds. Everyone deserves the right to an education, but illiteracy rates in India cannot truly be solved until gender equality is achieved.

Improper school facilities. Underqualified teachers, filthy drinking water tanks, overcrowded classrooms, and so much more. A recent report found that only 5 percent of government schools in India complied with the basic standards for infrastructure set by the government.

Income imbalance. In 2009, the World Bank upgraded India from a “poor” country to a “middle income” country. Though there have been improvements, India continues to display a huge divide between the rich and poor.

There are many other reasons for such high illiteracy rates in India, including religious beliefs, technological complications, and geographical barriers.

With all this in mind, we need to ask ourselves a very important question: how can we help improve the education of children living in India?

Donate your time, money, or resources. Every bit counts, no matter how big or small. Organizations like Gramiksha focus their efforts on an equal education for all children in India, and they accept donations in the form of visiting villages, teaching children how to read, and even helping to write the children’s’ syllabus.

Tribe of Lambs’ latest Compassion Project, the School Scholars Project, will send 54 at-risk youth from Ray’s Orphanage to school, where they will receive a full education. Tribe of Lambs is an ethical jewelry brand, in which all proceeds go towards at-risk youth living in India. They have partnered closely with Ray’s Home for their past few Compassion Projects. Ray’s Home houses HIV-positive children in Jaipur, India, as these children are often left to fend for themselves. While at Ray’s, they receive a great education, plenty of play time, and a whole new chance at life.

We can help create a better India by providing its children with a proper education.