Dreaming is Not a Luxury Anymore!
My heart jumped with joy when I heard a 13 year old girl say that she wants to join the police force when she grows up. To most of us dreams of achieving great things come very easily. For this girl, from a KGBV in Vishweshwarganj Village of Uttar Pradesh state, who voiced her dream to me, it is a matter of great courage and hope.
From where she comes, most girls cannot hope to complete their education leave alone take positions in society. The traditional patriarchic society doesn’t believe in educating the girls. The burden of poverty and large families to take care of puts an untimely full stop to their education. KGBV is an initiative to bring these girls back to school. With JMV’s support, the girls in these schools have begun to dream.
The first few months in the school are very difficult for the girls. Most of them dropped out from primary schools or never continued after primary. Getting back to studies and living in a hostel away from their families make these months very hard. The support of resident warden and teachers is vital here. Care India provides the required training and managerial support to the school staff enhancing their capacities to connect better with girls.
Once the teachers are able to win their confidence the girls start opening up and listening to their teachers. Besides classroom teaching; dancing, drawing, role playing and storytelling are few ways through which the staff imparts important lessons. The girls are encouraged to take up hobbies like reading, stitching etc. Unlike the common myth girls in this KGBV simply love their time in science class. They have been three time winners of best science stall at the state level science exhibition. They have showcased their projects very proudly throughout the school building. To me this showcase is symbolic of the fact that they too deserve a chance; a platform where they can display their talents, abilities and efforts.
After talking to them I can clearly see that they too have aims and aspirations now; something which most of the girls living in below poverty line families cannot imagine. One wants to join police force, the other wants to be a manager because she likes managing and organizing. Some want to become teachers because they too want to help girls the way their teachers are helping them.
All this is possible because they are beginning to understand that education is empowering them, helping them stand up for themselves and others like them. The school activities are designed in such a way that the girls get a chance to cultivate leadership skills, organizational skills and public speaking skills. The change is visible. All of them agree that when they came here they didn’t know how to express themselves, put forth their argument. And now the fact that most of them have already convinced their families to continue further education proves that they don’t need anyone else to fight their cause; they are enough.
What amazed me most was how excited they all are about higher education. Most of them are already asking their teachers to help them locate nearest senior secondary schools; choose subjects that they can pursue and then the list of colleges and universities that they will later apply to.
I left the KGBV feeling humbled. If these girls can work towards bringing out their potential in the given circumstances without raising a storm so can I. Needless to say I am truly inspired!
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