Education  India Project #53498

Educate Her, Make Her Independent

by Educate Girls
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Educate Her, Make Her Independent
Sana in school
Sana in school

10-year-old Sana*, a specially-abled child, is the youngest member of the family of 11. She lives in a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, India. In her village, education is the least important thing; hence, all her siblings are either dropped out or were never enrolled in school. While her sisters were married young, her brothers moved to cities to support the family. 

However, Sana was always found her solace in books. She had trouble walking but her motivation to study kept her going.  She says, “I want to become a doctor when I grow up. At least that way, I can be completely independent. I could pay for my treatment! I want to be a doctor and open a free hospital for children like me."

Her dream was shattered when she had to drop out of school in Grade 5, because her family couldn’t afford to buy her a wheelchair. Without a wheelchair, she could not go to secondary school taht was far from her house. She felt hopeless but continued to study at home in her free time and helped her mother with the household chores. 

During a door-to-door survey, Educate Girls’ team met Sana and her family. They told the team about Sana’s desire to study, but due to the financial crisis, they cannot afford to buy her a wheelchair and educate her. 

After understanding the situation, the team informed the family about a government scheme that could help them get a free wheelchair for Sana. “The Educate Girls’ team members informed us about our rights  and government schemes that we were not aware of. They took us to the school to obtain the required documents and to the concerned government department, where they helped us file a request for the wheelchair. They kept track of the request until Sana received a wheelchair,” shared Sana’s father. 

Now, Sana was re-enrolled in school in Grade 5. She says, “I was able to get a wheelchair because of the organisation and I am able to go to school again! After I dropped out, I never thought that I would be able to go to school. It feels like a dream come true.”

Sana now goes to school regularly with a smile on her face!

Sana with her classmates in school
Sana with her classmates in school

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Varnmala
Varnmala

With the second largest population in the world, India is home to millions of families living in extreme poverty, making it incredibly tough to priortise education when survival is at stake. Ironically, poverty and illiteracy are also closely linked. And when there are limited employment opportunities in the hinterland, earning a livelihood is not only difficult but the only focus.

In most rural parts of the country that don’t have an industrial set up, cattle rearing, erratic labour work and farming are the only means of sustenance. Those who don’t own agricultural land, work in other people’s fields like Varnmala*’s father in a village in Abu Road, Rajasthan. Farm labour work is seasonal and depends on sowing and harvesting cycles hence, not the most reliable or regular source of income. On other days, along with his wife, they rear cattle - just a few goats that they own. Barely making ends meet, the family of five share a one room kutcha (not built properly) house that also doubles up as cattle shed.

 

When Educate Girls Field Coordinator, Karmaram met the 7 year-old Varnmala, she had never been to school - her father had never considered it as an option. “For the family, having more earning members in the family was a better solution than educating all his children. Even though all his children are quite young, it still didn’t make economic sense for him to invest in their education because he’d rather have Varnamala, the oldest child, take care of the house and her siblings so that his wife and him can step out to earn,” shares Karmaram.

 

Since Karmaram had visited thor place, he was painfully aware of their dire condition so he knew it would be an uphill task to get Varnmala and her brothers and sisters enrolled in school. He knew that the only way around this is to make both the parents understand that ultimately it's education that has the potential to put an end to their cycle of poverty. That’s exactly what he did consistently for the next few months. “I started visiting the family regularly. I took help from the school teacher and the village Sarpanch. I took them to their house with me and told the family about the benefits of educating girls. I told them about the midday meal program and even made them aware of Government schemes they could apply for and avail if they have educated members in the family,” says Karmaram.

 

Karmaram’s efforts paid off in 2021 when Varnamala along with her younger sister and brother started attending regular school. Their school is a km’s walk from home and the narrow pothole ridden road doesn’t make the walk any easier, especially during the monsoon but the siblings rarely miss school because of this inconvenience.

 

Varnmala and her sister, Raina, are currently in Grade 2 and they are learning to identify and write simple words and numbers. When a teacher is running late or steps out of the classroom for some work, you can find Varnmala taking her place and making her classmates revise the lesson of the day. 

 

Varnmala’s brother is the youngest so she takes complete responsibility of getting him ready for school, dropping him off to class and safely returning home with him. Both the sisters also help out at home with chores and grazing the cattle on their off days but on school days, their father doesn’t let them take up other work and asks them to study instead. He is visibly happy and proud of his kids, and hopeful for the future.

Varnmala with her family
Varnmala with her family
Varnmala and her siblings in school
Varnmala and her siblings in school

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

13-year-old Anjali* of a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, India had to drop out of school to help her family in farming when she was just 8 years old. She loved reading and writing, but her family considered education a waste of time and money. They believed that instead of going to school, she should work on the farm with other family members to save labour cost. Her dream of continuing her education came to an unexpected halt.

Anjali spent most of her time in the farm fields and doing household chores. Seeing her working, other people of the village also got their girls out of school. During the absence of regular classes during Covid, most of the parents felt that girls should not go to school again but work on farms.

Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator Dinesh Rawat got to know about the situation of the village from the school teacher.

"When I reached there with our Team Balika (community volunteer), we were shocked to see young girls working on the farms. We immediately made a plan to speak with the parents of the children," shared Dinesh. "We went to all the farms to speak with the parents of the children. However, some asked us to talk later, and some ignored us. We decided to speak with the Sarpanch (head) of the village and urged him to help us speak with the parents," he added.

The village sarpanch decided to call a meeting, where he invited the school teachers and all the parents. In the meeting, Dinesh told everyone about the importance of girls' education, how educated girls can support their families, and government education support schemes and benefits. While most families agreed, Anjali's father refused saying she has been out of school for many years and she can't study now.

After hearing this, Dinesh informed everyone about Camp Vidya (Camp of Knowledge), a community-based learning initiative by Educate Girls, where children learn in a fun and interactive way in their safe environment. He urged everyone to send their children to the camp for 2 hours daily and explained that the team is following all the guidelines and safety measures.

Finally after multiple meetings, the parents got convinced to send Anjali and the other girls of the village to the camp daily. Anjali studies for 2 hours a day, and after that, she helps her family. "I am going to Camp Vidya daily, I love studying maths. I couldn't even write a word when I first went to the camp, but now I can write an entire sentence and even count numbers. I even help my father with calculations. I am excited to go to school again after 5 years!" shared Anjali.

Learning about Anjali's progress, her family decided to enrol her back in school and support her education. Anjali is now enrolled in Grade 5.


*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Lack of awareness and guidance has led to the loss of many opportunities, especially for the people living in the remotest part of India. Armed with the bare minimum education and resources, they are often unaware of the benefits they can avail through various welfare and education schemes run by the Government.

11-year old Deepali* who lives in a small village in the Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh also missed the opportunity to start her education at an early age due to such lack of information and guidance.

When the Covid-19 lockdown eased in several states of India, Educate Girls began Camp Vidya, a community-based learning initiative to bridge the gap in education. Educate Girls team went door-to-door to spread the word and enroll children in Camp Vidya. This is when Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator Jayaram came across Deepali. He got to know that she had never been to school when he spoke to her parents.

“Deepali’s parents are labourers and often struggle to get two square meals a day. Covid had made their living situation worse but they somehow got through. When I went to their home to encourage them to send Deepali to Camp Vidya I got to know that she had never been enrolled in school!

Upon further discussion, I found out that they had tried to enrol her a few years ago but due to the lack of certain documents and proper guidance, they couldn’t go ahead with the process. They went back home and did not feel the need to send her to school anymore. They were happy to get another helping hand at home. By now, even Deepali had accepted her fate to stay at home and also felt that if she goes to school now, she would be older than her classmates and they would all make fun of her.

This was common mindset across the village - a majority of the population focused on getting more income and girls were not sent to school as they would get married anyway” says Jayaram.

He urged them to send Deepali to Camp Vidya, but they didn’t feel the need as she was already 11 years old. However, Jayaram requested them, making several home visits and informing them about the benefits of education and also about the various government schemes they could avail. Finally, after many conversations, they agreed to send Deepali to Camp Vidya. 

When Deepali first stepped into Camp Vidya, everything was new and strange to her. She had never even held a pencil in her hand! She was hesitant to speak. Initially, she sat away from everyone, not speaking even when approached. But slowly she observer others in the class and with the help of Team Balika (community volunteers), she started engaging in class. In a matter of weeks, she has now made friends, takes help from them and has started learning with enthusiasm! Her parents are also glad to see the change in her happy demeanour and personality.

 

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Educate Girls

Location: Austin, TX - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Safeena Husain
NY, NY United States
$17,684 raised of $100,000 goal
 
398 donations
$82,316 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Educate Girls has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.