"Educating girls will empower them and aware them"
Rani makes most of every opportunity given to her whether its in classroom or excelling in sports. She happily juggles between attending school, practicing karate or roller skates and helping her mother. Rani is spontaneous and through the program she has built her leadership skills to mentor young girls in her community. Most girls in India do not attend school. Estimates shows that only one out of 100 girls attend school. According to UNICEF 47% of all girls are married before the age of 18.9
Rani is an advocate for girls’ empowerment. “I want to promote education of girls and tell them that they can be anything,” says Rani. However, her community’s view isn’t the same: they push girls to do household chores, get married young or stay at home. Additionally there is enormous resistance from adults to listen to girls
“I want to be an Army Officer and encourage girls to break barriers holding us back,” says Rani. She is determined to walk in a path no one has before in her community. The occupation of her community is often determined by their caste, a Hindu system of social hierarchy. Rani comes from a community belonging to the Dhobi (washer man) caste – a caste that follows their traditional occupation of washing and ironing clothes.
Since becoming a Girl Icon, Rani feels more confident. “I have an identity of my own,” says Rani. As part of her projects to drive social change, Rani organized a campaign in her community in Varanasi to understand “why women are always the subject of verbal abuse”. “We interviewed people from diverse backgrounds, from police officers to pandits and shopkeepers. My motive was to aware people about violence against women and to teach them to be respectful towards women,” says Rani.
Rani continues to dream and forge ahead in her life and bring change in her community through your support. India is home to the largest number of adolescent girls. Adolescence is a critical time of transition to adulthood, most girls often loose their voices and become vulnerable due to lack of opportunities. Investing in adolescence girls has a colossal multiplier effect on children, families and communities. They can break gender norms and up lift social and economic condition of families. Your continued support will help build many more Rani's and bring change in many such lives.
Rani and her peer group girls engaging community