Team Balika is a group of village based education volunteers that champion the cause of girls' education. Members of Team Balika provide support and structure to the girl child in schools and also have a strong presence in the community, spreading awareness about girl child education. Their participation boosts enrollment, retention and learning outcomes for all girls. Team Balika animate the principle of, 'My village, my problem and I am the solution'.
Disparity in literacy rates between males (76%) and females (44%) in Rajasthan, makes it a home to 9 out of 26 gender gap districts in the country. Schools lack basic infrastructure, like separate toilets for boys and girls, further alienating the girl child. Most of the students enrolled in schools are first generation learners whose parents are ill-equipped to impact learning. Early marriage is common in rural areas where often up to 80% of girls are married before the legal age of 18.
The project enlists one Team Balika member in every village. Each member spreads awareness on the importance of girl child education to boost enrollment. They implement child centric creative learning techniques in the classrooms. Their involvement plays a crucial role in the learning outcomes of first generation learners. They facilitate the formation and activities of the School Management Committees that results in increased community ownership.
Each Team Balika member reaches out to close to 3000 children in a village and helps to improve learning outcomes, they spread awareness on the importance of girl child education to boost enrollment. In a period of three months Team Balika involvement resulted in an increase in Hindi reading by 20%, English reading by 20% and Math skills by 18%. In the long term, empowering and educating children and especially girls' yields positive returns for generations to come.