The ‘Daughters of India’ initiative, by Swabhiman Samiti in association with Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) Etawah, aims to improve rural education in and beyond the district through technology and volunteer teachers. The project goal is to provide quality education to girls in India’s most economically challenged areas.
The challenge prompting the ‘Daughters of India’ initiative steamed from the serious educational needs seen in rural regions. A school visit to a remote village revealed that only one teacher was available, resulting in limited attention and enthusiasm among students. The scarcity of teachers also hampered effective delivery of the government’s well-structured curriculum, impacting student learning.
Another significant hurdle is that many parents in the region prioritize marriage and household duties over investing in their daughters’ education. Faced with economic difficulties, parents often choose to educate their sons over their daughters. To address this, the initiative aims to reduce the financial burden on parents and engage them actively in recognizing the value of educating their daughters. It aims to showcase the potential for higher studies through scholarships, paving the way for a brighter future for girls.
The team believes that creating successful role models among girls in the community is a potent way to change mindsets and promote education. The initiative seeks to highlight the accomplishments of these role models, inspiring other young girls and their parents to understand the potential of education.
The ‘Daughters of India’ initiative centres on girls because enrolment rates are lowest and dropout rates are highest among them, largely due to parental attitudes. Government data indicates that only 2 out of 10 girls attend high school regularly and proceed to graduation. This statistic underscores the urgent need to empower girls through education. Through the collaboration of dedicated volunteers, technology, government support, and NGO partnerships, the initiative strives to transform the lives of these girls, empowering them to build a brighter, more prosperous future for themselves and their communities.
To address this concern, the initiative focuses on various vital components:
- Identifying gaps in educational resources and infrastructure in schools.
- Establishing digital classrooms for technology-driven learning.
- Engaging parents to gain support for their daughters’ education.
- Training volunteers to guide and mentor students.
- Enhancing teacher training and technological teaching methods.
- Regular interaction with parents to demonstrate initiative progress.
- Providing career counselling to help students make informed choices.
- Offering scholarships to outstanding students pursuing higher studies.
Speaking about the initiative, Vinod Prajapati, Manager, Swabhiman Samiti, said, “The aim is to empower around 100 deserving girl children from impoverished backgrounds, enabling them to access quality education. These girls, often excluded from technological advancements, will benefit from e-vidyaloka’s online education expertise, enhancing their grasp of English, Science, and Mathematics. The partnership also extends valuable career counseling guidance. Simultaneously, this initiative involves mapping the remaining 12 KGBVs, uncovering specific needs and informing future planning.”