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Empowering Communities: The transformative force of educating girls in India

In the vast tapestry of India, where the colours of diversity weave together, one thread holds the promise of change, progress, and hope – the education of girls. Today when the country takes pride in having touched a significant mark in adult literacy, we must not let the feat digress us from ground reality. The […]

In the vast tapestry of India, where the colours of diversity weave together, one thread holds the promise of change, progress, and hope – the education of girls. Today when the country takes pride in having touched a significant mark in adult literacy, we must not let the feat digress us from ground reality. The truth remains, out of the people who remain illiterate, a huge chunk of them are women. While working with the communities on the ground, action-takers have seen firsthand the transformation that follows when this staggering gap is mitigated. When placed in the Indian context, there is a profound role that girl child education plays in reshaping communities, breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and illiteracy, and contributing to sustainable development goals.
If looked closely, the mission of educating girls presents us with an opportunity to address many of the inequalities that communities grapple with. It is in this pursuit do we realise that girls’ education is the closest solution we have to address multiple humanitarian issues. Once a girl is equipped with education, she is more adept in furthering this wave of literacy for the generations to come. In this process, she also goes on to address an array of issues like climate change, malnutrition rates, stunting, immunization, and so on.

Answering the Calls to Justice and Equality
When action-takers enter the heartlands with a vision to ensure that every last girl who is out of school is back in school, never have they come across a woman who wished to be confined within her household. To break the cycle of inequality and exclusion, she needs to overcome the socio-cultural boundaries that keep her from accessing education. And adequate support acts as a crucial enabler. One such story is of Rohat’s Begum (name changed). Owing to family restrictions, she was stopped from attending school at 15. But her yearning for literacy lived. During an organization’s outreach program in her village, she enrolled herself in their education camp. With her sheer will and the camp’s efforts, she emerged second highest in her 10th exams, in her camp. Today, being skilled in sewing, she takes vocational fashion designing courses.
There are many such stories that further drive development. But in the core of it all, rests a hope that female education will paper over the cracks made by generational inequality and injustice.

The Power of an Educated Mother
In India, where family values run deep, the influence of a mother in nurturing and educating her children is immeasurable. Educated mothers not only understand the significance of education but also have the tools and knowledge to support their children’s learning. An educated mother is twice as likely to educate her children. They instil in their child a love for learning and a belief in the power of education. This fosters a culture of education that ripples through the community. So, it is about halting this intergenerational cycle of illiteracy and poverty once.

Stopping the Vicious Cycle
For decades, poverty and illiteracy have been two issues that are intrinsically intertwined and have wreaked havoc on the lives of many. However, education offers a glimmer of hope. By educating girls, we are transforming the intergenerational mindset of the man being the sole breadwinner of the family. When girls are educated, they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to seek better opportunities, support their families, and become agents of change. Additionally, on a national scale, educating women also contributes significantly to the strengthening and stabilisation of societies where all individuals are provided with the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Hence, with both men and women bringing an income, not only families can reap the benefit of a more comfortable lifestyle but it also contributes to growth and empowerment of the country.
As we inch into a bigger number of literacy rates, we also progress toward a brighter, more inclusive, and sustainable future for India. In an educated girl child lies the answer to many world problems.
The author is the Head-Operations of Educate Girls

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