Empowerment of girls and women is the new frontier for human rights in the 21st century. Development can be sustainable when it is equal for genders. Empowerment begins right with an individual’s education and availability of fair opportunities, through which to accomplish their goals.
Sherisa, 30kms from Ahmedabad, is a village located in the Kalol district of Gujarat. On my visit to this village, I observed that there are ‘few’ educational opportunities and even they are difficult to avail. The higher secondary school is far away, located at around 8 kms from the village, leading to discrimination between boys and girls.
Sauhard runs a girls’ education centre in this village. The idea is to create a sense of awareness and provide opportunities to girls who have left their schooling mid-way due to various social factors: prejudices regarding marriage, ignorance, and narrowness, to list a few.
The programme began last year (2016), with around 19 girls enrolling initially. Sauhard facilitates learning opportunities for them by conducting classes and sessions. Various workshops have already been conducted in the past on subjects like, ‘Knowing about Self’, ‘Gender’, ‘Leadership and Politics’, ‘Art & Craft’ and so on. Currently, ten girls in class 10th and one in class 12th have enrolled themselves for the NIOS external examinations. In addition to this, Sauhard also plans on expanding the education program soon for boys in the village. Working in the field of youth development, through the Girls Education Programme, Sauhard aims at helping girls in the village to widen their horizons regarding the world around them; encouraging them to choose the right path in life by bringing themselves above the prejudices of the society and helping them imagine and realize their aim in life.
The funds raised via the campaign would be primarily utilized for the NIOS exam fees, infrastructural development of the centre, setting up a good library and ensuring technical assistance via computers, projector and internet connectivity.
The purpose of the programme is to promote education by breaking stereotypical barriers, erasing the lines of discrimination; and empowering girls via education.
—— Prarthana Verma, 2017-18 Fellowship Batch
To read about the Rural Youth Programme, click here
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