Project Nanhi Kali has always endeavoured to provide quality education to underprivileged girls across India and is now further trying to focus on the holistic development of the girl child in India. It has been noticed that in many locations including Sheopur, issues related to gender discrimination, sex education and sensitization towards biological changes have not been given enough attention. Even though the communities have evolved over the years and understood the importance of education, topics mentioned above continue to remain a taboo.
The girls through the medium of the Adolescent Nanhi Kali Get-togethers are given the opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by them. It has been noticed that discussions with adolescent girls has increased their awareness levels. Nanhi Kali Get-togethers in Sheopur and other locations, have become a vibrant platform which continue to empower the girls across our project.
Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. Don’t you think so? And project Nanhi Kali is about providing the underprivileged girls with this weapon.
This year, out of 78,000 Nanhi Kalis, 2715 of them appeared for 10th Std exams and their performance has indeed made us proud with an unbelievable 76% passing percentage. Remarkably, 976 Nanhi Kalis have secured a first class which is a great achievement considering a national dropout rate of 53%.
Since the Nanhi Kalis are first generation learners, their parents are not able to help them with their studies. It is the additional classes at the Project Nanhi Kali academic support centre that has made their success possible. And with the help of donors, more number of underprivileged girls are turning their hardships into achievements.
Suman from the Vijaypur district in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh is one such Nanhi Kali who has made us proud with a whopping 84% in her Std. X exam. She was not only regular in attendance but she also took part in various extracurricular activities that were conducted. And now, she has made her family, her village and Project Nanhi Kali proud by topping the school with 84%.
This is one of the many success stories that the Nanhi Kalis have written with their dedication and interest!
The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) of India has decided to observe January 24th as National Girl Child Day across the country. The ministry has been undertaking a multi-dimensional approach towards improving the declining child sex ratio and ensuring the female child has equal opportunities of leading a quality life. Towards this objective, Project Nanhi Kali too aims to empower underprivileged girls with the provision of quality education through academic, material and social support.
In order to promote awareness on the occasion of National Girl Child Day, a rally and cultural programs were organized for the Nanhi Kalis in Sheopur. A skit based on the status of women in Indian society was performed by the Nanhi Kalis. Prizes were distributed to all the competition winners.
One of the brightest girls of Government School Jaatkheda, Manisha, who hails from Radhapura in Sheopur district, is one industrious girl who through sheer hard work has prevailed over the challenges posed by the poor economic condition of her family.
Manisha comes from a poor agricultural family, which includes Manisha’s father, Ramkumar, her mother, Anokhi, her two brothers and one sister. Manisha’s father, who is the only earning member of the family, is a farmer who earns a meagre salary. Though Manisha’s parents have always wanted to secure a good education for their children, their precarious economic situation made it difficult for them to accomplish this.
Then thanks to the support provided by the Nanhi Kali project, this became possible. The Nanhi Kali project, which aims at providing quality education to girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds by giving academic, material and moral support, took Manisha into its fold and Manisha utilised this to the fullest extent. Manisha attends classes regularly (she has attended 85% of the classes) and works enthusiastically which is reflected in the results she has achieved. Before she became a Nanhi Kali, she was not interested in coming to school or studying in general. But since she became a Nanhi kali, her attendance has shot up. She is showing interest in studies and taking efforts to improve.
Her teachers are full of praise for this Nanhi Kali. One of them said, “Manisha is a very promising student. She always maintains discipline be it in the classroom or the Academic Support Centre. She is respectful towards her teachers and elders and is quite friendly with her classmates”. She continued, “Manisha got this opportunity to continue her studies thanks to her supportive parents and the Nanhi Kali project. I hope she continues her studies and keeps up the good work that she’s doing”.
The parents of the Nanhi Kali too are determined to educate their daughter and appreciate the role played by the Nanhi Kali project in helping them to achieve their dream.“The material support provided by the Nanhi kali project helped a lot in reducing the financial burden related to education and the tuition classes have helped her [Manisha] in securing good marks” they remarked.
Manisha on her part wants to acquire a Masters Degree and become a teacher. We express our deepest appreciation for the hard work put in by this Nanhi Kali and wish her luck for all her future endeavors.
Since its inception Project Nanhi Kali has adopted a holistic approach towards educating girls across the country. Over the years, efforts are being made to not only improve learning levels in government schools but also work towards reducing the dropout rates in schools.
Issues like poor financial resources, anemia, confusion arising due to biological changes in woman’s body and securing low marks in exams have been identified as leading causes of dropouts among adolescents.
To minimize the expenses incurred on books and stationary, kits are distributed to Nanhi Kalis on a regular basis, wherein books, pencils, uniforms along with sanitary pads are distributed.
To address the health issues, counseling sessions are conducted in collaboration with government officials and social workers. Over the years the sessions have emerged as a powerful tool to combat commonly occurring health disorders in Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh. An essential component of the counseling session is to spread awareness about the usage of iron and folic acid supplements among parents and adolescents. Information related to the right dosage of medicines, benefits of medication and availability of doctor etc is given by our team in collaboration with the government officials. Another concern addressed in these sessions is the usage of sanitary pads, provided in the kits distributed by theNanhi Kali project.
In addition to counseling sessions, community and change agent meetings are held on regular basis. The community meetings offer a ground to discuss the problems persisting within the community and arriving at a convergent solution.
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