Here's proof that where there's a strong will, there's an unbeatable way.
"The sarpanch of Doraha village in Madhya Pradesh opted to use some stick to keep the kids in school. They would lose their BPL (below poverty line) ration cards if they did not ensure that their children attended school. Those cards offer more than foodgrains, they are a passport to land allotments, loans and so on. So in schooling their children the village community would avail of immediate benefits, and of course the long-term gains that education brings... "
This editorial column from The Statesman goes on to argue that the move might smack of coercion and even be undemocratic, but that such disincentives have potential.
What I say is, whoever this man is, may his tribe increase.
Besides, in a country that has no qualms imposing laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act of 1958, at the risk of alienating and disenfranchising a sizeable chunk of our population, what business has anyone to question the democratic values of one strict headman trying to make education work in his village?