Kanta Devi (49) from a village in Udaipur is a mother two daughters named Ashu* and Jasu*. She never went to school and hence wanted both her daughters to be educated. Her husband works as a daily-wage labourer and spends most of his earnings on alcohol which causes many fights between them.
With this kind of an environment at home, it had become very difficult for the girls to study. Hence, in 2017, after Ashu completed her 5th Grade and Jasu her 4th, both of them dropped out of school. Educate Girls’ Team Balika (community volunteer) Arjun Lal and Field Coordinator Heera Lal went to speak to Kanta Devi and seeing her willingness to send her daughters to school, they suggested that she send her daughters to a Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) – a free, Government-run residential school for girls in Grades 6 to 8.
Kanta Devi thought this was the best opportunity for her daughters to get an education but she needed her husband’s permission to send the girls to school. Due to her husband’s alcoholism, it was very difficult for her to find the right opportunity to speak to him, but one day she gathered all her strength and told him about sending their daughters to KGBV. He immediately refused saying that there’s no need for the girls to be educated, since they are meant only for household work. Kanta Devi made several requests but it fell on deaf ears. Finally, Kanta decided to take a stand for her daughters’ welfare and she sent her daughters to school without her husband’s permission, inspite of the problems she would face at home because of it.
Both Ashu (13) and Jasu (12) have been enrolled in Grade 6 in the nearest KGBV in 2018, finally back to school after a year!
*Name changed to protect the identity of the minor.