Residential Facilities for higher education for girls from marginalized communities
NGO: Trust for Reaching the Unreached
The Girl’s Education Program (GEP), named Abhinav Kanya Shiksha Karyakaram, was set up to provide residential facilities for girls in classes 9 to 12. The need for such facilities primarily arose due to the considerable distance of the government high school from the girls’ homes situated in remote forest areas. With little to no means of transport through the ravines and fields, access to the school is limited during monsoon and winter. In addition to safety concerns, the girls have to struggle with traditional beliefs where people are hesitant to send them to higher education centers. All of these factors limit the girls’ access to education. The construction of the residential facilities adjacent to the government high school allows ~150 girls to attend school everyday, giving them the opportunity to access education which would otherwise not be possible.
- The girls are given extra tuition for maths, science, social study, and languages (especially English) and are also provided with a library for more reading.
- They learn basic computer skills, play sports, including athletics, badminton and cricket.
- Maintain a kitchen garden, where an organic method of farming is learned when they grow fruits and vegetables. This adds to the nutritional value of their food.
- The girls are involved in several group activities on a regular basis. Cooking together, playing together and living together teaches them a different way of collective living which is a rare experience for them. Values like sharing and support are imparted directly and indirectly in all routine of the GEP.
- The girls are taken for excursion to interesting places in the state every year, including places of higher learning, museums, etc and fun places like fairs and beaches.
- This program provides a safe and conducive atmosphere for learning to girls from marginalized communities.
- All of the extra-curricular activities and practical necessities (which are taken for granted in most cases) to ease the stress and enable effective education (i.e. Tuition, backpacks, uniforms, umbrellas) have helped in reducing absenteeism.
- The parents are also more motivated to bring the girls back on time for the semester.
- The girls from GEP program have represented their school in the inter-school competition arranged by the state government, have won several awards and typically are amongst the top rankers in their classes