This story sets an example of how education can change the mindset of people and how Educate Girls is working as a catalyst to change. Geeta, who was enrolled in school in 2014 because of efforts of Educate Girls’ team is now working as Team Balika (village-based volunteer)!
Sohan Lal Meena, a farmer and resident of a village in the Rajasmand district of Rajasthan, had the
stereotypical mindset for education and girls’ education. He didn’t send his daughter to school
because he thought that they would get married and it will be a waste to invest in their education.
In 2014, Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator, Rajesh Khatik met Sohan Lal and his family. He started
visiting their family regularly to convince Sohan Lal to send his daughters to the school. However,
Sohan was reluctant to listen to him. One day, Rajesh decided to organise a community meeting.
There, the discussions were held around retention of the children in school and enrolment of girls in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) – a free, government run residential school for girls in
Grades 6-8. Sohan Lal had a change of mind when he got to know about the benefits of sending his
Geeta to KGBV and letting her elder daughter, Tulsi study at home.
Geeta was enrolled in Grade in KGBV, where she studied till Grade 8. During this time, Geeta actively participated in the Bal Sabha (Girls’ Council to enhance life & leadership skills in girls) and was associated with the organisation. With the support from Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator, Geeta later joined Janjati Hostel in Grade 9, where she completed her schooling. Meanwhile, Geeta’s elder sister Tulsi joined Educate Girls as Team Balika. During her 1.5-year tenure with the organisation as the volunteer, she ensured maximum girls retention in school. She had to drop out as Team Balika after getting married. Later, Geeta joined as Team Balika from her village. Last year with her efforts, Geeta was able to enrol many girls in the school.At present, Geeta is teaching over 25 girls at their home, who are either dropped out or are not ableto go to school. “I know how it feels when you are deprived of education because of family circumstances. I was fortunate enough to get the support from Educate Girls team. So, it’s my way to pay them back for their efforts and keep changing mindsets for girls’ education! I want to do everything in the best of my capacity to bridge the gap between girls and education in my village. I am extremely thankful to Educate Girls,” she added.