Author: educategirlsblog

Triumph in the Face of Adversity: Padma’s Story

My name is Padma. I’m 21 years old and live in a small village in Pali District, Rajasthan, India. My journey till now, even during these young years, has been filled with harsh realities – things I never expected could happen to me. When I was in the 8th Standard, my parents got me married along with my elder brothers and sisters. This custom of getting brothers and sisters mass married is common in my region to cut down on wedding costs. While boys are often given the freedom to continue studying after marriage, girls are expected to stay home. My father told my in-laws that he wouldn’t send me to their house for at least a year after the marriage, so I could finish the school year. Shortly though, my in-laws started pressuring my father to send me to their home and finally my father relented. At the beginning my new family members were fine and I was learning to adjust in my new home, but eventually I started experiencing a change in the …

A Father’s Love

Across India, over 3 million girls are out of school. The state of Rajasthan has 9 of India’s 26 worst gender gap districts for girls’ education. Studies show, in this state, 40% of girls drop out of school before class 5, only 15% primary school children can read a simple story in Hindi, and 68% girls are married before the legal age of 18. Cultural norms and longstanding traditions often serve as barriers to girls’ education, but many other factors also lead to high drop out and low enrollment rates for girls. Educate Girls is working to tackle these issues. A Father’s Love: Diya’s Story Shravan Ram* (32), from the district of Pali in Rajasthan works as a laborer in a factory. He and his wife never had a formal education, were married young and have three children – two boys (aged 10 & 8) and a girl (13). Three years ago Shravan removed his daughter Diya* from school while she was in the 3rd grade.  An Educate Girls Team Balika member, Saroj,* who belonged to …

My Journey

Post Written by: Meena Bhati, Field Communications Manager, Educate Girls  My name is Meena Bhati. I am recognized as Educate Girls’ oldest employee. I was born into a Rajput family living in the Chanud Village of Pali district in Rajasthan, India. The Rajput community does not believe in educating a girl child. Many families there do not even wish to bring a girl into this world because she is seen as a liability. I was lucky that my parents sent me to school, but only until class 10. I pleaded to be allowed to continue my education but I was told to pay attention to household chores and prepare myself for marriage instead. I stayed home looking after the house and my siblings, and eventually I was married. Luckily, life had another chance waiting for me in the form of my husband. He was a teacher himself, and therefore understood the importance of education. He stood by my side much against the will of our parents and re-enrolled me in school. Today, I have completed …