“She spoke about the ordeals of adolescent girls in rural India and the solutions needed”: Workshops for marginalized girls – Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana

Video trailer “Writing with Fire”: reporting on local issues and women’s rights in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya PradeshThe Wire >>

Read the full article with view photos, click here >>

A 15 days long camp has enabled shy and timid girls to come out in the open, be confident and look at the world with a new perspective. From providing life skills, decision making power and spoken English training to enabling them to dream big and become more confident, VOICE 4 Girls is giving a new voice to thousands of adolescent girls. […]

VOICE 4 Girls is one such platform that enables young adolescent girls to get access to critical knowledge, life skills and spoken English to help them become the decision makers of their lives.

“We believe that these adolescent girls can be the agents of change. If we educate one girl, it changes a whole family and community,” says Anusha Bharadwaj, executive director, VOICE 4 Girls.

What started as a small initiative by three IDEX fellows in 2011 is now a movement which has positively impacted the lives of thousands of other girls like Mansa. With an interesting model that works with government and low-cost private schools, the NGO has managed to reach out to over 11,500 underserved kids so far. […]

The camps are organized twice a year; once in summer and once in winter. They take place in Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The average camp lasts for two to four weeks. Every camp has volunteers working as counselors and field coordinators who are paid a stipend for their services. College students and teachers are selected as the counselors and coordinators who get an opportunity to work closely with the students and to become their role models. […]

Her Voice

This camp focuses on girls aged between 11 to 16 years. This camp helps the girls to come out of their shells and look at their life in a different light. Various community-based activities expose the girls to new people and places, and expose them to life skills such as problem-solving, negotiation and decision-making along with the basics of communication in English.

By the end of the camp, the girls are much more confident, active and independent. They are eager to learn new things and are open to raising questions about various social norms. […]

The organization plans to conduct more camps for both girls and boys to make it more inclusive. They are also planning to extend their reach to other states as well in the next couple of years.

In addition to this, they plan to reach out to day-schools too in the near future. “We currently focus mainly on residential schools. Reaching out to the regular day-schools is next on our agenda, apart from empowering as many kids as possible,” Gautam says. They also plan to organize regular camps all year round instead of doing it just twice a year.

Source: “This Team Is Changing The Lives Of Adolescent Girls In Rural India In Just 15 Days” by Shreya Pareek, The Better India, 22 January 22 2015
Address: https://www.thebetterindia.com/16800/team-changing-lives-adolescent-girls-rural-india-just-15-days-voice4girls/
Date Visited: 3 March 2023

Convention on the Rights of the Child – Article 5

States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention. […]

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49

Source: The Convention on the Rights of the Child: The children’s version | Read and download the child-friendly text.
URL: https://www.unicef.org/media/60981/file/convention-rights-child-text-child-friendly-version.pdf
Date Visited: 9 February 2022

Objective of EMRS (“Eklavya Model Residential Schools”)
[Peruse the government guidelines here or in the 2010 backup included below]

i. Comprehensive physical, mental and socially relevant development of all students enrolled in each and every EMRS. Students will be empowered to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.

ii. Focus differentially on the educational support to be made available to those in Standards XI to X, so that their distinctive needs can be met.

iii. Support the annual running expenses in a manner that offers reasonable remuneration to the staff and upkeep of the facilities.

iv. Support the construction of infrastructure that provides education, physical, environmental and cultural needs of student life. […]

URL: https://tribal.gov.in/DivisionsFiles/sg/EMRSguidlines.pdf
Date visited: 30 Jul7 2021

Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools >>

“The Big-brother attitude of educators must end. The approach to tribal education has to be a two-way transaction of give and take, based on an informed appreciation of traditional tribal values and wisdom.” – Uma Ram (Professor & Head Department of English, Kakatiya PG College, Chhattisgarh) in Issues in Tribal Education in Bastar, Chhattisgarh (Folklore Foundation, Lokaratna, Volume IV 2011)

Residential, Ashram and Factory schools

Backgrounder & image © Economic Times >>
  • Ekalavya* Residential School Scheme (EMR): a network of boarding schools where tribal children are to be educated in accordance with rules and syllabi provided by the government; such schools are being designated as “Eklavya Model Residential School (EMR)” with the objective of empowering students “to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.” – Government Guidelines 2010 | Backup >>
  • Residential School and Ashram School
    In some regions there are similar “Residential Schools” and “Ashram Schools” for tribal children, as in Tripura where they are managed by a society called “Tripura Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS)” – Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Tripura
  • Factory schools “exist to turn tribal and indigenous children – who have their own language and culture – into compliant workers-of-the-future. The world’s largest Factory School stated that it turns ‘Tax consumers into tax payers, liabilities into assets’.” – survivalinternational.org/factoryschools | Learn more >>

    Up-to-date information about these and related issues: Safe custom search engine >>

* Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya): the name of a legendary archer prodigy “who, being a Nishada [Sanskrit Niṣāda, “tribal, hunter, mountaineer, degraded person, outcast”], had to give his thumb as a fee to the brahmin guru thus terminating his skill as an archer.” – Romila Thapar (“The epic of the Bharatas”) | Read the full paper here | Backup download link (pdf) >>

Note: “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” amounts to genocide, which the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention defines as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Article II, d & e)

Learn more about Childrens rights: UNICEF India | Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools | Rights of Indigenous Peoples >>

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India.
Please note: the facts and figures cited (via hyperlinks) links call for updates and fact checking >>
Learn more: Endangered languages: Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India >> 

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