“The challenge of changing mindsets and bringing girls back to school is a very real and grueling one… easier said than done. The economic condition is so poor here that I have never seen poverty like this before. People here did not have more than a layer of clothing in winter, and that layer too was torn.”
Zafar, a Field Coordinator for Educate Girls in the district of Bundi, Rajasthan, recently shared his experiences and challenges on the field. One of the villages he works with is an old one that sees many families migrate to towns or cities in search of work. Many locals have had to join brick kilns and construction sites to make ends meet. In such a scenario, trying to ensure a healthy classroom attendance is difficult as children either travel seasonally with their parents or drop out of school to take care of the house.
For a lot of students the route to school is also quite unsafe. They are required to cross the river and walk through a hilly terrain, which is also slightly populated with leopards. Households too are scattered far across in many large villages. Thus, students who live in such areas that are far from school dropout very easily owing to difficulty in reaching school.
A Gram Shiksha Sabha (village meeting focused on development of education) was set-up to address this issue in this village and Zafar is working towards changing the situation with the support of the village council and parents. All the parents whose children weren’t going to school were spoken to and counselled on the importance of education.
Individuals like Zafar have made all the difference to executing our work and creating real change in their village’s mindset towards girls’ education.
Educate Girls’ program focusses on getting girls into schools across 12,000+ villages of rural Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. You can join this effort by making a donation at http://educategirls.ngo/Donate.aspx#donate