Bosa, a medium-sized village located in Sirohi, Rajasthan, houses a tribal community called Garasia. This community is known for a large number of festivals, fairs and their various unique social traditions. Despite having a strong society and an inherent sense of pride in their customs, some of their malpractices such as vair pratha (family enmity leading to mass revenge), kheench (forcing a girl to marry a man who selects her) etc. Many particularly targeting the womenfolk still exist and have been stunting their social and economic progress over generations. The lack of education refrains this situation from improving.
The long and winding journey
To add to its already negative attitude towards education, children living here have to take a 1.5 hour long challenging trek to school each morning. That’s three hours a day spent only on travelling to and fro school. The journey includes vast farms, hills and terrains that are not easy to walk on. The weather, particularly in the hotter months, makes this worse.
Our Field Coordinator and Team Balika visited all the households and talked to families about the importance of education and about connecting children to schools especially girls so that they can bring meaningful change in their lives. They explained to them how education could bring their children out of the circle of poverty and help improve their community at large.
Going the extra mile
The Educate Girls team in Sirohi also organized a Mohalla meeting (neighborhood meetings) to raise and discuss the importance of education with the locals. Some of the points discussed in this meeting were: status of education in the village, the various govt. schemes available for the disadvantaged groups of the society, reasons for children who were either never enrolled or dropped out from the school, and last but not least, about the School Management Committee, its roles and responsibilities.
The villagers also opened up about various concerns they had, such as: lack of basic facilities like electricity, water, roads and lack of government help to improve this situation. Meetings like these give way to open discussions and help address various concerns or ambiguous information that communities often have, particularly regarding girl child education.
Addressing the cause of girl child education, or even education in general, in rural areas is not easy. You can learn more about various challenges that our teams face on similar terrains in rural India in this post, and know more about our model on our website.