"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world "
According to Malala Fund statistics over 60 million children are out of school in India. Nearly 40% of adolescent girls (15 to 18 years) do not attend any educational institution while 30% of girls from the poorest families have never been in a classroom.
The situation of boys and girls who are actually attending school is also not very encouraging. 25% of boys and girls are unable to read basic 2nd standard text and 42% of boys and 39% of girls cannot do basic arithmetic. The number of girls leaving education due to marriage is 13.9% while an alarming 30% leave to take up domestic roles.
Working at grassroots, we are very aware of the injustice of being a girl and have been working to address the root causes of this discrimination for the past 30 years. One initiative that is paying off is the work we do with slum children through our Balbhavan project, which started in 2003. Our unique model of social change operate in the six major slums of Ahmednagar city, and have already transformed the lives of more than 2,000 children. Going back to basics, we revise and review children’s reading, writing and maths and as a result we have recently seen a 400% increase in their A and B grades at school.
We always eagerly await our children’s exam results and this year the 12th standard results in our Balbhavan have literally turned the tables on the reported statistics above. We are pleased that a whopping 83% of our 12th HSC exam achievers were girls, as compared to 17% of boys. Each one of these girls wants to complete their graduation and ensure their financial independence and are currently taking admission in graduate courses with our support.
The student standing first in HSC is also a girl who aspires to make a career in science. All of these girls will carry forward this torch of educating many more future generations.