Achieving gender equality in terms of education has always been a challenge in India. As per statistics, only 39% of young girls have access to schooling and education in rural India. No matter how talented and ambitious she is, the girl child often receives the shorter end of the stick. In fear of exploitation and abuse, many girls are not sent to school and kept at home only to be married off early.
An educated girl or woman can ensure that the entire family is educated in the future and we been missing this important aspect of country’s progress. To achieve a balanced approach to gender equality and eradicate gender stereotypes there is immediate need to address some core challenges.
Survival instead of education
Abuse and safety concerns
General awareness in parents
In our country, many people are unaware of how the education of the girl child can transform lives for the better. It is a sad state of affairs when people across socio-economic strata think that investing in a girl child’s education is a waste of money. The fact that they would rather justify spending on their daughter’s marriage expenses or dowry instead of their education is even more disheartening. Early education can be instrumental in shaping the society towards progress. When a girl is educated, she is empowered. She can make decisions for herself, raise the standard of living for her family and children, generate more employment options and reform the society as a whole. Therefore, a change in the mindset towards girl child education in India is the need of the hour. Every girl child must be treated equally with love and respect.
The government has been making persistent efforts to raise the status of the girl child in the society as well as incentivize her education through various schemes and
Empowerment of girls and women is essential for achieving sustainable development. The new strategies and initiatives must include various tools of social empowerment of women such as right and access to education, health care, adequate nutrition, right to property and access to equal opportunities, legal and institutional mechanism to help women in need, access to media and finally dispute redressal mechanism. Socio-cultural practices that work as barriers to empowerment of women and girls need to be removed at the earliest.
There is a constant need of creating awareness of this gender bias and start supporting the needy girl child for her education. A solid PR and awareness campaign to awaken the society, seek support from organizations and entities who can help get rid of this bias and ensure implementation of certain initiatives supporting education of the girl child.
The Government has also prepped up several schemes to support this cause, coupled with amazing CSR initiatives by Corporates, PSUs and business houses.
We all together can make a huge difference by generating momentum to support education for the girl child.
I am personally adding to this my going on an awareness drive, crossing 22 states, 100 locations, 120 days to spread the awareness and also sponsor education of 100 girls along the route.
Starting on 14th February 2023, I am going on a "Solo Drive", covering 22 States, 100 locations (towns/villages) spreading awareness about the importance of educating the girl child.
On my journey, I am also sponsoring a year's education cost, including school tuition fees, books, uniforms etc for 100 girls ranging from 2nd standard to 7th standard and ensuring this initiative gathers more steam to culminate into an ongoing program to support education of the girl child.
I am taking the route from Mumbai, going through border towns, villages of India, covering West, North, North East and East India in a journey which will be approx 100 to 120 days.
During this journey, every day I am stopping by at a location and identifying a needy child to support her education, also will be meeting schools and key people from that locality to help create awareness about the importance of education.
The data collected in this initiative will be used to further support the cause with the help of friends and Industry peers who are keen on contributing to this initiative.
Looking forward to strong support from my family, friends, Industry peers, CSR organizations, Government Bodies, PR influencers and social organizations.