Ms.Chevanthi, Who joined for B.Com course
Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)
Update- November 2015
Last 6 months is an important period for us. The 10th and 12th standard board examinations results were announced and all the girls who attended our supplementary classed passed the exam. We were busy in helping them finding college admissions or skill training programmes. We were also continuing our life skill and sexuality programme during holidays and weekends.
48 girls have passed their 10th examinations and 34 girls passed their 12th standard examinations in our rural area. For the first time 11 girls started going to college. This is huge step forward for them and for us. The work we have been doing with the adolescent girls and their parents started paying results. The major problem we faced was all the girls have scored below 1000 for 1200 marks, it created some hardships to get admission in government colleges where the annual fees is less than Rupees 10,000. Since they got admission in private colleges they have to pay the fees of Rs.30000-45000 it is a huge amount for them. Usually parent spend money on girls only for wedding dowry. Somehow 11 girls could able to pay their first years fees with their family savings or loans, in the coming years it was difficult for them. We could able to get support to pay full fees for 3 girls out of that 2 girls joined for B.Com course and 1 in Pharmacy course. For rest of the girls we are providing a stipend of Rs.500 per month for their travel and other expenses. We are also exploring the possibilities of getting bank loans so that they can pay their fees in the coming years. Another thing we want to do is strengthening our supplementary education programme and help the girls score more marks in the 12th grade examinations. We are really happy parents are willing to invest on girl children’s education.
We are also continuing our computer skill training programmes and 85 girls benefitted from this. Still we do not have broadband connections in the village so we could not use it fully. Recently our chief minister announced that the state government will provide free internet though the government cable network. If that happened that would help the girls. They can learn both academic subject and general knowledge.
When we right this report the Snehidhi adolescent girls association members are involved in 16days activism to eliminate violence against women. We have organized one week training programme on street play, fold dance and songs. They developed their own script on women’s rights and violence against women. 22 girls participated in that training. They have been organizing cultural programmes in the villages and slums to educate the public about women’s rights and violence against women.
We have organized several parents meeting particularly women’s meetings. In addition to that our field staff also met parents of 12th grade passed girls individually to motivate them to send their children to colleges. Earlier they usually will not send their daughters to college saying that the colleges are far away. Now they are sending even to distant places and the girls stay in the hostel. Most of the girls go to Pondicherry and Tindivanam and travel 2 hours up and down to go to colleges. Parents particularly mother support their daughters education it is a huge shift and this gives us lot of hope and confidence to continue our work with girls and mothers.
Ms.Chevanthi, 1st Year B.Com
Chevanthi is 18 years old and this year joined for 1st year B.Com course. She has been a Snehidhi member for the last 6 years. Her father and mother both are agricultural workers. During dry season her father goes to nearby city or town and work in construction; So their income is not steady, She has a brother studying in 10th standard. She is calm person and good student. She has been attending all our trainings like life skill sexuality education and leadership skills. She is also an active participant in our dance and song trainings. She says that only helped her to build her confidence and now goes to college. She shared how she could able to handle the ragging during the initial days in the college. There is no need to say that she is the first graduate student from family. In India only 10% of students goes to college, in that only 3-4% of girls only go to college and most of them are from the cities. She joined for B.Com(Bachlor or commerce) in Rajeswari College, Bommayapalayam, Pondicherry, that is 45 kilometers away from her village. She travels by bus every day to go to college. This year onwards we are providing Rs.500 per month for her college studies. She has to spend Rs.25000 to 30000 every year; it is really difficult for them. 1st year they could able get loans and spent all their savings for her college studies. She has been looking for scholarships we are also helping in this regard. We are really happy to see a Snehidhi member going to college. This would change her and her family’s life in a big way.
Scholarship Cheque is given to Ms.Divya, Her mother is a single woman
Scholarship Cheque is given to Ms.Divya, Her mothe