You’re right that access to education is a big problem in poorer countries, but equally important is the issue of access to land. Urban overcrowding, rural depopulation and high fertility rates reduce the amount of productive growing land allocated to each hungry belly.
We know that education of females is the key to lowering fertility to manageable levels – one thing missing from your account is the typical family living situation for women there (my wife is Indian, so from the horses’ mouth “it totally sucks”). I understand why you haven’t seen this from visiting India myself – only rich girls, ‘bad girls’ and grandmothers can freely talk to white guys.
But what about access to the land? Here is the real question. But in a society which clusters all opportunity in urban areas, inevitably there are land shortages and an intractable problem with no solution.
Most people in poor countries already know how to grow some food. Having a place to grow it is key.
I like your writing anyhow. Good to see a bit of earnestness still in the world. Take care of yourself and best of luck on your travels.