Sheopur is one of the most backward districts of Madhya Pradesh with only 15% of the villages connected by roads. Agriculture is the main occupation and majority of the people are landless laborers and marginal farmers who migrate seasonally in search of work. The average literacy rate in the Sheopur district is 58.02%. The male literacy rate is 70.30% while the female literacy rate is only 44.45%. 80% of the girls here do not attend school regularly or drop-out of school, because they have to either look after younger siblings or contribute to the household income, or are married off by 13 years of age.
Karahal Block of Sheopur District is one of the most backward blocks in terms of socioeconomic indicators. The tribal community of Karahal is adversely affected by extreme poverty, complete lack of health facilities, malnutrition, lack of livelihood resources, shortage of water and high rate of under-five mortality. The schools have poor infrastructure and education facilities. The region has the lowest literacy rate in the entire state.
In spite of these unfavorable conditions, many young girls who are part of the project, ”Nanhi Kali – for the girl child”, are driven to bring about a change.
This is the story of Preeti Adivasi, a young girl who lives in Chainpura village of Karahal Block in Sheopur district. She is a Nanhi Kali studying in Standard I. Belonging to a poor tribal community, Preeti’s parents earn their livelihood as agricultural labourers. Their annual income ranges from Rs 40,000 – Rs 50,000 which is barely enough to fulfill even their basic needs. Preeti has a brother and a sister as well.
Preeti attends school and the Academic Support Centre (ASC) very regularly. Her attendance is 91% in school and 80% in ASC. She is fit and healthy and loves to play games and dance in her free time.
In the remote Chainpura village, it is almost a custom for people to not send their daughters to school, as it is generally considered that it will create difficulties at the time of marriage. They prefer girls who are engaged in household activities like fetching water from outside, taking care of domestic animals, cooking, cleaning, etc. Preeti’s parents were also quite reluctant to send her to school and Preeti expressed that concern to her ASC tutor. The Community Activist and Nanhi Kali Coordinator visited her family and tried to convince her parents on the importance of education for girls. After conducting 3 home visits, the parents finally gave in and understood the real importance of education in their daughter’s life. Since then, they send their daughter to school and ASC regularly.
It is with your tremedous support and enthusiasm for our project that Nanhi Kalis like Preeti Adivasi have the opportunity to build a future based on their dreams and aspirations. We are very happy to inform you that our project of $4500 has been funded and we will be educating 50 underprivileged girl children just like Preeti.
Thank you very much for your generous support!
The National Girl Child Day was organized on 24th January 2015 by Project Nanhi kali in Sheopur in joint collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development. More than 400 Nanhi kalis from 82 Villages & other girls from 3 blocks (Sheopur, Vijaypur and Karahal) participated. A stall was put up in the heart of city where all the Nanhi kalis distributed pamphlets to people, spreading the message of ‘Save the Girl Child’.
The Nanhi Kalis performed group and solo dance, skits and sang different songs on the theme of Gender Equality. The focus was on making people understand the value of gender equality and its importance. Activities like Drawing competition and Quiz competition were also organised and the winners including the best performers in schools were given prizes.
There were emotional and heart touching speeches by some of the Nanhi Kali alumni. They stressed the need to fight female foeticide and save the lives of the girl children. They also urged people to provide equal opportunities for girl children to lead a quality life.
This is the story of a Nanhi Kali from Sheopur district in Madhya Pradesh. This particular area in Madhya Pradesh is ridden with various challenges for girls to complete their education. Most of the girls study only till the 7th standard. The villagers believe that a girl should get married before the age of 13. A girl's duties include cooking food and looking after her family. Whereas the boys are considered the head and the job holders. However Priyanka fought all odds and convinced her parents on the importance of education.
Priyanka is an inquisitive girl who is eager to learn. Science is a her favorite subject and she is passionate about dance. She wants to join the Police department or become a Teacher. Having insisted on continuing her education, today Priyanka is one of the few girls from her village who has passed Class 10th with 56% and is currently studying in Class 11, with a specialization in Agriculture.
We are proud of Priyanka and wish her all the best for her future endeavours!!
In the month of October, Project Nanhi Kali joined hands with the nation to support the 'Swacch Bharat Abhiyan' (Clean India Campaign'. More than 3 million people across the nation participated in this drive which is being promoted by the Central Government. Government employees, companies, institutions, schools, and colleges are going to be a part of this programme, which is aimed at changing the face of India.
In the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh, the Project Nanhi Kali Team organised a small campaign with the help of the field staff and community members in 7 villages. Over 400 Nanhi Kalis participated in this week-long campaign with around 30 teachers and 60 community members to help them. After schools were cleaned, Nanhi Kalis from Sheopur gathered in their respective schools and participated in drawing, essay writing, and debate competitions. Prizes were distributed at schools after the competitions.
The campaign ended successfully; thanks to our field staff who interacted with the community and got them to be a part of this initiative. We thank everyone who participated in this drive and contributed to its success!
Meena is from the Sonthwa Village in Sheopur District, Madhya Pradesh. Most girls don’t go to school in her village because they get married – when they’re as young as 13. Child marriage has forced girls in her village to dropout from the school and most of them have only studied till Class V. Social inequality plays a huge role in restricting a girl child’s empowerment in these parts of Madhya Pradesh but things changed for Meena when she became a Nanhi Kali in the year 2006.
Her parents depend on agricultural for their livelihood and their annual income is less than Rs. 2 lakhs per annum. She comes from a village where people think girls should stay at home and manage the house, but she managed to convince her parents to give her a chance and she did not disappoint them. She has recently passed Class 10 where she achieved an astounding 92% and made her parents and her village proud.
She is the first girl in Sheopur District to get 92% in Class 10 examinations. And this success didn’t come easy – she has clocked over 3000 hours in the programme, which included academic support, cultural and club activities where girls in the programme are educated and monitored on health and hygiene. In a place where girls aren’t allowed to study, Meena truly stands out from the crowd and is an inspiration to other girls in her village. Her favourite subject is maths and she wants to become an engineer. We wish her good luck in all her future endeavours.
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