Education of underprivileged girls is one of the cornerstones of our development strategy. We work in an area where poverty remains the most important variable in determining a girls’ access to education. In addition, barriers caused by cultural norms lead to a high drop-out rate. Hence, in addition to using focused interventions that specifically aim to close the gender-gap in education, we also work on changing the gender relations that affect girls’ attendance and performance.
SAPNA’s Pankhuri project initiated in 2010 was the first step in this direction. Through this project we encourage sponsors to support the education of girls who need resources. 22 girls, a majority from nearby villages, are part of this sponsorship scheme. One of our primary challenge is to combat cultural impediments towards girls’ education and their diversion to household and child rearing tasks that have short-term economic value. The girls have been admitted to reputed schools of Alwar like the National Academy and V.L Memorial School.
A program coordinator along with two part-time teachers monitor the academic progress of the girls, help them with their homework and keep them motivated by following innovative out-of-school curriculums. The nutritional needs of the girls is also a priority-area.