Call it the power of persuasion. Bihar’s recent track record vis-a-vis education of the marginalised is not very impressive. Which is why many have lauded the state government’s recent initiative to convince the most backward Musahar community to send their children to school. As many as 119 habitations in Jamoi district have been identified for the enrolment drive. So far, 10,000 children in the 11-14 age group have begun attending special schools. Efforts are also on to introduce bridge courses for the older kids to facilitate their admission in regular government schools. Bihar has 25 lakh Musahars who are derisively referred to as the rat-catchers. They are largely unlettered and have always lived on the margins. What is unique about the Nitish Kumar government’s initiative is that the community has not been offered any incentives or cash to send their children to school. K.N. Pandey, the officer coordinating the programme, told Outlook: "We started in November last year. In a year’s time you will see the impact. Our first batch of students should by then begin attending regular schools."