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2010 Project: Empowerment of rural Dalit girls

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Learn about our 2010 program to provide quality education to 80 Dalit ('untouchable') girls like these of rural Viralimalai. Download the project description as a PDF file.
Project details to school 80 untouchable girls

WESWA proposes to create a residential school for educational empowerment of the Dalit (formerly called ‘untouchable') girls hailing from the oppressed and depressed segments of 47 rural communities in Viralimalai area of Pudukkottai District.

Eighty children in the age group of 6-14 years will be covered under this project. The 6-8 years age group will be called I stage, 9-11 years age group will be called II stage and 12-14 will be called III stage.

Each group of girls will be imparted special education as prescribed by State Resource Centre, an authority of non-formal education promoted by Government of Tamilnadu, Department of Education. Well - trained and experienced teachers will be recruited to teaching the special school girls.

Simultaneously, the girls will have a scope for development of co-curricular activities like computer, embroidery and dress making, artificial diamond making and beautician courses. Besides, the girls will also be educated in health and hygiene, environment, personality development, leadership promotion, child rights, child education, elimination of child labour, etc.

Thus, apart from the academic performance, the all round personality of the girls will be promoted to enable them to escape from the clutches of superstition and poverty and thereby emerge as responsible citizens of the nation and the world.

Objectives of the Project:

  1. To promote a residential school for poor Dalit girls.
  2. To provide nutritious food, comfortable shelter, health care and entertainment with physical, psychological and emotional care in homely atmosphere.
  3. To provide special education to the girls to promote academic performance of the girls.
  4. To mainstream the girls by admitting in the normal schools in their respective area.
  5. To impart the target girls' skill training in computer, embroidery, artificial diamond making and dress making and beautician course for future development.
  6. To organize awareness education for girls on health, hygiene, environment, personality and leadership development.
  7. To prevent school dropout and thereby increase the literacy rate among the Dalit girls.

Justification

As per the survey report of Government of Tamilnadu's Ministry of Education, more than 30% of the rural girls and boys become dropouts already at the primary school level. Among Dalit (‘untouchable') girls, more than 70% drop out of school before completing the 5th grade. Due to poverty and illiteracy, most of the Dalit parents discontinue education of their children even at the primary school level. Then, the Dalit girls are married to poor men even before reaching 18 years of age.

Newly married Dalit girls while yet physically and mentally immature are then treated as child making machines, which in turn leads to the incidence of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality rising with each year. Further, the poverty prone situation and lack of basic infrastructure like electricity and congested and cramped habitations of Dalit families prevent their children from conducting their daily studies properly.

The Dalit girls are routinely subjected to sexual abuse in their work places, like agricultural farm, small industries, and house work as house maid, readymade garment factories, etc. As per Panchayat Raj Act, Dalit women are entitled to contest Panchayat elections and to take part in local governance. When compared with the urban girls, the rural girls have no easy access to various skill training.

So, the above narrated factors and factors compel us to initiate this women's educational empowerment project for the benefit of the Dalit girls in our target area.

Planned strategies

  • Residential vocational training facility for Dalit girls
  • Comfortable shelter, nutritious food, and health care
  • Special school education for 3 stages of Dalit girls
  • Vocational training in appropriate
  • Awareness education on various social and health aspects
  • Mainstreaming girls through admission to normal local schools

Project Activities

  • Residential Training Facility
    A spacious constructed building for accommodation of more than 80 girls will be located in Viralimalai town with all required basic amenities like electric lights, dormitory, drinking water, kitchen and dining room, nutritious food, health care, recreational facilities etc.
  • Vocational School
    A vocational institute to educate the 80 Dalit girls will function at the residential facility. As planned, three stages of girls i.e. 6-8 age group (I stage), 9-11 age group (II Stage) and 12-14 (III Stage) will be given special education through qualified teachers on English, Mathematics and Science. Monthly test will be conducted to the girls and a special care will be given to slow readers. Audio-video equipment will be used to teaching science and other subjects.
  • Vocational Training
    As per the aptitude and attitude of the girls and age group, vocational training will be given in computer, embroidery, artificial diamond making, dress making and beautician course. Trainers will be recruited to conduct the skill training course. Every working day, one hour will be allotted for the skill training courses. These trainings will enable the girls to emerge with full self-confidence about their future life challenges.
  • Awareness Education
    The curriculum will promote awareness on social, health and hygiene, environment, child rights, girl's education, personality and leadership development, general knowledge, etc. There will be three one hour classes for the girls. Eminent resource persons from leading NGOs, colleges, schools and engineering colleges, will be invited to address the awareness sessions.
  • Mainstream the Girls
    After completion of three years, each stage of girls will be mainstreamed by admitting in the local normal schools to continue their education. As per their age group, the girls will be admitted in their respective classes.
  • School days and sport days: The school annual day will be celebrated together with the sports day and winners will award prizes by the chief guest and VIP in the function.
  • Monthly review meeting
    The project director will convene monthly review meetings of special school teachers, technical teachers and parent's representatives to review the progress of the girls. It will be a monthly evaluation process to measure the impact of the project.

Expected impact

  • Dalit girl children dropout rate will be reduced
  • 80 Dalit girls will be get vocational education at the residential facility.
  • 80 girls would acquire new skills on computer, dress making and beautician course.
  • 80 girls would emerge as fully aware persons.
  • Leadership and personality of the target girls would be promoted to face the future challenges.
  • The target girls would be admitted into normal schools.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring
The project director will monitor the project event on regular basis by paying direct visit to the home. Monthly review meeting is a part of evaluation of the project.

Evaluation
A team of evaluators consists of Managing Trustee and two trustees of WESWA, one school teacher and two parents and two local leading NGOs will conduct internal evaluation. In addition, project donors will be invited to conduct external evaluations.

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