GRADE 12 STUDENTS RECOUNT THEIR EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD

After visiting Educate Girls programs for a week, grade 12 students from Mumbai Tridha school share their experience with us:

I, along with other members of my class went to Rajasthan to work with ‘Educate Girls’, an NGO that works for education of the girl child. It was a 7 day long stay where in we visited various schools and spoke with various members of the NGO. We also spoke with the students, teachers and parents in order to see different perspectives and understand more about their life, their problems and their situations.

At first we spoke with Meena ji and visited a few different schools where we spoke to the students about their lives, their dreams and ambitions, the difficulties they face and the things that have changed thanks to the help of ‘Team Balika’. We also spoke with the members of ‘Team Balika’ which proved to be very inspiring. Their dedication, will powers and strength is remarkable. Seeing them work so hard and fight for what they believe in, even though they come from a background that does not allow them to do so, really touched my heart.” Rewa

On the first day itself we went to a school and we met a few students. When we spoke to them I personally felt the trouble that the girls had to go through. Living all my life in Mumbai and just hearing about the problems that the girls face, I could never connect. But when I sat and heard it personally, I understood the problem more, in depth. The work put in by the ‘Team Balika was clearly visible, as they helped motivate the girls and build their confidence.” Haardik

Our trip to Rajasthan was an eye opener. Even though I was aware of the issue regarding the girl child’s struggle for the basic right to education, I wasn’t aware of the extent at which it existed. For the simple reason that I live in a city like Mumbai where everyone lives in their own comfort zone and where one might tend to think that India as a whole is progressing very fast considering all the foreign relations, growing number of NGOS and government policies regarding the welfare policies. (…)

We observed, while many volunteers stood up for the right of education for girls – for the good of society – the society was actually one of the greatest barriers. One thing about the trip made me realize that one cannot really feel for a certain issue until the time when one actually gets to experience/ witness for oneself.” Qurrat

(The students we met) seemed strong and felt positively about moving on. They were even boldly incorporating changes that benefited their lifestyle into their homes when they went for holidays. They taught their mothers to eat in plates, to eat with spoons, they taught of hygiene matters and they taught them not to be afraid of men nor agree with all their demands nor to sacrifice their valuable life but to speak up and do something for themselves in which they found satisfaction. (…)

My experience got me to notice hidden reality. There are many out there who want change but are not willing to do so and want the change to happen by itself. An insecure society has for so long made entire generations of girls bear a harmful cost. Many women have sacrificed their lives and the meaningfulness of their lives to an outdated ideology. 

It angered me to think how society perceives women. Are women made just to bear children and clean men’s finished plates? Women have understanding and of course they have the quality of nurturing and caring but more importantly, they have voices and intellect. (…)

So I had a question in my mind: is it wrong to be born a girl? Why is life a punishment for her? It’s fantastic to be a fighter, against society’s narrow-minded values and intolerant norms, but why must the Girl always fight?

We, the women of the privileged world, it is our responsibility to reach out to these girls and women, to hold their hands and walk with them and give them the support they need to achieve the realization of education, self-satisfaction and independence.” Suhasini

The oppression of women may still very much be a problem in the next couple of decades but I personally feel that we are coming to a time where it may not be a problem anymore. Until then everyone in this country (not only NGOs like educate girls) needs to start caring about problems outside their own tiny lives.” Rayan

Twitter: #educategirls #backtoschool #impact

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