Barli Institute for the Development of Rural Women, Indore India
By Mahnaz Javid - President
What the Barli girls learn
Barli Institute continues to transform the lives of its students and their communities YOY. In 2019:
Please take 3 minutes to see this amazing video about the impact your contributions make to the lives of thousands of girls and their families in Indore, India. https://vimeo.com/376974381
191 girls trained in areas of literacy, vocational skills, health and hygiene, environmental conservation, organic farming and gender mainstreaming; impacting 1,146 family members and about 9,550 community members
26 teachers trained
Over 600 visitors including organic farmers, students, NGO representatives, female police officers, college professors and Mona Board members.
Gatherings for parents are held for each group of trainees. In February 2019, around 300 rural & tribal participants from more than 75 villages came to meet their daughters (incl. 180 parents/family members staying on campus). The main objective of this meeting was to give them opportunity to observe the Institute programs, feel its environment so that they will support their daughters after they return home.
Sheetal’s father said, “I am very happy that my daughter has learnt to read and write, stitching and at the same time she is understanding the importance of moral values and service to humanity. We have also learnt so many new things here. We have learnt about the benefits of organic agriculture and for the first time we have seen solar power generation and large solar cookers to cook food”
Education is the key for driving grassroots change for the women-trainees.
The wholehearted involvement of their male members (fathers, brothers) is key towards enhancing outcomes.
Increasing health awareness of women and their families towards basic health and hygiene is important for empowerment of rural women
Varsha had completed grade 10 and had dropped out of school. She entered the Barli Institute in May 2012. Her training at Barli helped her understand the importance of education and its transformative power. Since 2012 she has passed her 12th grade exams, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and currently enrolled in Indore University getting a Master of Arts in Sociology.
Pressure from her family was too great to stay in Indore so she is studying remotely from her village, travelling for her exams. She is a role model for all the girls in her village and is the most educated individual in her family. Even her brothers who had left school are inspired by her strong willpower and determination.
Varsha encourages all children in her village to attend school, to plant trees, to practice cleanliness and to visit the doctor regularly. After returning to her village, Varsha also volunteered as a teacher in a remote tribal village for six months, teaching girls between the ages of 7 to 11. She shared all her learnings of five years in Barli with these young girls - how to read and write, basic mathematics, health, motivational stories and devotional songs.
This experience as a teacher has made Varsha more committed to continue her studies and open her own school someday. Varsha plans to be a registered government teacher after she completes her master's program.
235 girls trained in literacy skills (reading, writing in Hindi and simple arithmetical skills), health & hygiene, environmental education, and personal & community development. They were also trained in income generating and vocational skills including: cutting and tailoring, solar food processing, medicinal plants cultivation and management, organic farming. Total up from 218 girls last year.
A solar-powered water pump has been installed, giving the trainees and their families first-hand experience and training about saving the environment through solar power for irrigation
In order to increase the groundwater recharge capacity and to store rainwater, a small pond was made in Barli Institute’s organic farms - 30ft x 60ft x 8 ft deep.
Visited 25 Bari graduates to see how they have progressed. Most of the trainees are now married and still pursuing stitching and tailoring in their villages, while some have taken up higher education.
The FLO Women Achiever’s Award for Excellence in Education from FICCI Ladies Organization (FICCI-FLO) Indore Chapter was conferred on Mrs. Tahera Jadhav.
Barli celebrated its 114th graduating class, and will be graduating another 121 girls this month.
The results of the Cutting and Tailoring exams have been consistently maintained at 100% pass-rate this year.
There are several senior trainees who are pursuing higher education. One senior trainee has started her post-graduation (MA) in Arts this year and three trainees have started their BA course this year.
A Solar-powered water pump has been successfully installed and will help reduce energy costs and also save the environment. Through this, the trainees and their family members are getting first-hand demonstration and training about saving the environment through use of solar power for irrigation.
The story below shows in more detail how YOU are making a difference in the lives of these students.
Jhallu - A Story of Determination
Jhallu comes from a large family with eight sisters and brothers, and for most of her life lived in a village deep in the forest where there was no school.
All her sisters were married off without an education and this looked to be Jhallu’s fate as well. When Jhallu was 10 years old, her whole village was forced to relocate as the government was going to build a dam nearby. Leaving behind her birth place was very challenging but her new village had a primary school and for the first time in her life Jhallu was able to go to school!
She was so enthusiastic about learning that before long, and against all odds, she completed her 5th grade and passed the entrance exam to high school. The high school was however 10 kilometers away; the roads were unsafe and despite her constant efforts, she had to give up and dropped out after the first year.
Three months later, Jhallu heard about the Barli Institute and resolved to enroll despite fierce opposition from her family. Over time, with patience and persistence, Jhallu kept on going until she won over their hearts and continued her education.
Jhallu has now completed the six-month training program at Barli Institute, has passed her 10th grade exams, and is currently preparing for her 12th grade exams while staying at the Barli Institute. Jhallu wants to be a police officer one day; and although her father tells her that it is not a suitable profession for a girl, she is convinced that helping to maintain law and order in society is her destiny. She believes that one day she will be able to change her father’s views on this too.