education of girls in India

This Women’s Day, Help CRY Give Adolescent Girls In India A Brighter Tomorrow

Time and again, we’ve heard or talked about the issue of gender inequality – in our own lives as well as of those around us.

But where does it all begin? For girls from underprivileged communities, it begins when they’re still children. It’s when she notices fewer chapatis on her plate as compared to her brother. When she is asked to discontinue her education while her brother continues to go to school, because her family needs her to take care of household work instead.

This deep-rooted issue of gender inequality has made such adolescent girls even more vulnerable in COVID times. In the last 12 months, CRY has worked tirelessly to ensure that India’s girls do not have to compromise on their basic rights, even in the midst of a pandemic, by:

Nutrition & Health:
In times of crisis, the nutritional requirements of girls often get deprioritised over those of the male members of the family. To address this, CRY has focused on:

  • Providing take home rations for adolescent girls to help them fight anaemia and malnutrition
  • Enabling kitchen gardens to create a sustainable source of continued nutrition for adolescent girls while helping them reduce their financial expenses on food
  • Distributing hygiene kits among adolescent girls to enable them to manage their health and menstrual hygiene
  • Spreading awareness about the importance of growing up healthy among adolescent girls through IVRS and by creating health champions within the community

Education:
The closure of schools and the severe lack of digital access forced several girls to take up household responsibilities. To ensure this situation doesn’t become a permanent one, CRY has focused on:

  • Providing work sheets and guides to help adolescent girls prepare for their board exams
  • Conducting community-based study sessions for adolescent girls in small groups using online mediums like WhatsApp
  • Ensuring school linked study sessions by partnering with government schools and using other sources like Doordarshan and community radio

Safety & Protection:
With the loss of livelihoods during the lockdown, many girls from underprivileged families were forced to either work or become child brides to ease off the financial pressure. Additionally, such girls were also extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse, violence and exploitation. To make sure that they stay protected, CRY has focused on:

  • Spreading awareness among adolescent girls by using community radio and IVRS to inform them about helpline numbers they could call and report any incidences of child labour or child marriage etc. or ask for help for themselves
  • Rescuing over 500 girls from child marriage in India by keeping in touch with the community

India’s girls have battled these issues even before the pandemic but unfortunately, disasters have a way of making the situation a lot worse – by undoing any progress that may have been made over decades in a matter of months. But thanks to your generous contributions, we’ve been able to make giant strides by impacting 92,923 adolescent girls even during these difficult times.

This International Women’s Day, your continued support will help us reach more girls in need and also ensure that education of girls in India is not compromised. So we sincerely hope that you’ll consider donating to CRY before 31st March – your donation will also be eligible for a 50% tax exemption!