Sukhi Kanwar, 18, is a Team Balika volunteer in a village in Rajasthan, one of India’s largest states and also a region with very great gender disparity. Educate Girls trains village volunteers as teaching resources to boost learning in rural schools. They help teachers and provide a link between children, parents and schools.
Sukhi is a highly active and motivated Team Balika volunteer, and works with Educate Girls to enhance girls’ enrollment, education outcomes and encourages adolescent girls to become the leaders of tomorrow.
In order to improve learning, she uses the Creative Learning and Teaching (CLT) kit. The kit emphasizes activity-based and playful learning and includes activities and games that teach English, Hindi and Math for primary level grades 3, 4 and 5.
Sukhi lives with her father Mr Bhanwar Singh, a marginal farmer, in the village of Pratapgarh, in the Pali District of Rajasthan. When Sukhi first became a Team Balika volunteer, people in her village laughed at her because of her newfound interest in girls’ education issues, and mocked her for trying to change things in her village. But her father was always very supportive of her work and helped motivate her to achieve her goals. A few days after joining Educate Girls she had already motivated five families to support girls’ education and enrolled five girls in nearby schools. The same people who mocked her now respect her and now readily accept what she says.
There was an interesting incident recently that made Sukhi a role model for all the other members of the Team Balika. Sukhi had identified two girls in the village of Mohra who had never attended school. She convinced their parents to send them to school, but there was an unexpected obstacle in the way. The school headmaster refused admission to them on the grounds that the school was already in session and that the girls could come back in the next academic year.
But Sukhi is not a girl to take things lying down. She immediately contacted Educate Girls' regional office in Pali and spoke to staff member Miss Harshwardhane. She advised Sukhi to ask the headmaster to state his reasons for refusing the girls admission in writing. Sukhi marched up to the headmaster's office the next day and demanded a written statement. Shocked by her confidence and taken aback by her complete lack of fear, he admitted the girls in the school. We hope all the members of Team Balika are inspired by Sukhi's story and can help many more young girls achieve their dreams through education!