Success Story: Girls Honored by Government of Rajasthan
(Child Labour Girls Enrolled in Schools Now Continue in Study)
Four girls have been awarded by the government of Rajasthan. These girls were once involved in child labour, some of which were working in the BT cotton fields of Gujarat. Thanks to the support from one of our UNICEF projects and Unnati’s continuous hard work to motivate the girls, they are now fully enrolled and regularly attending school. We couldn’t be more proud that the Government of Rajasthan has honoured them for their continued efforts with their studies. One of these girl Ms Kiran Meena who is doing her BSc final year she is also supporting and motivating girl child education and construction of Toilets and uses of toilets in her village.
Kiran Meena she is a girl leader under Malala fund project becoming emerging model for all girls in in Tidi, Borikunwa panchayat.
Providing Safe Transport and Escort System
The villages, which are inhabited by 80 percent to 85 percent tribal population, are scattered over hills services. Parents who live in these villages value education and have aspiration for their children, but did not send their children to school because there were no schools within a safe distance from their homes.
To set up a transportation and Escorts system, village maps of distance children walked and of geographical barriers were created.
In August 2009 Unnati Sansthan was commissioned to provide safe transport. Community meetings were organized to make parents aware of the new services. Transport has been provided to approximately 700 children since August 2009. Transportation is made available to children who are enrolled, but have irregular attendance in school. Many of the children had dropped out because they had to walk 3 to 5 Km to get to school.
Where there are no roads, or where children have to walk a distance of 3 to 5 km, Unnati Sansthan piloted an escort system. The escort are women who walk with approximately 25 children from nearby hamlets and villages to and themselves walk safety with the escort and in a group. The parents have learned to trust their children’s escort and a total of 300 children are being escorted to school.
The transport service costs as much as Rs. 10 and as little as Rs. 2 per child a day, depending on whether the child is transported by a jeep or walking with an escort. The total cost of the auto or jeep contractor is Rs. 6000 per trip per month to and from school. In areas where the terrain is very bad, costs may be higher. The escort service costs Rs. 1200 per month for a escort with a group of 25 children.
Creating Child-Friendly Schools
Unnati Sansthan is working on Child Friendly Schools in our Panchayat. Before it we had never heard of Child Friendly Schools and School Development Plans, and never visited the schools. This year I participated in preparation of the School Development Plan, and attended meetings and trainings organised by Unnati Sansthan. This was the first time I had heard about monitoring tools for schools. We have understood the importance of this tool and our committee has taken the decision to go to each school in the sub group, see the status of the school and mark it in the monitoring tool in red, blue or green colours. We are also taking action to improve schools with the support of SMC members and teachers. In the last seven months the condition of the school has improved. We are organising monthly meetings, a mid day meal is being cooked according to the menu, teachers are coming on time to school, and children are not running home after the interval. All children are coming to school on time and are attending prayer. Previously children were often coming to school after prayer, but now we are seeing that all children are attending prayer. In the month of January, Unnati has installed a Mass Hand Washing Unit in our school, where we see that children are regularly washing their hands before food and after using toilets. Unnati is doing good work to improve the schools for children I hope Unnati will continue it.
Improving Water & Sanitation Facilities in Schools
Due to regular meetings of SMC and parents we are seeing the big change in school. Previously school premises were very dirty. Children were not using toilets; girls were going out of school for toilets. The SMC has raised these issues in front of teachers, and school management has taken action to improve these issues. The knowledge of SMC members has increased on the issues of monitoring tool. We have divided our committee into five subgroups who are monthly visiting school and discussing on the issues with teachers. Our ward panch, Mr Ganesh lal, is taking active part in all our meetings. With the active participation and involvement of SMC members and PRIs, the school fund was used to install an entrance gate to the school. The Ward panch of this area has donated Rs. 3000 to school for children’s development. Durgadevi has told that we prepared proposal for construction of classrooms and submitted to the SSA. It was passed and room has been constructed and is being used as a classroom. Our teachers are giving attention to children and making them sit in groups.
Durga Devi Kishanlal
SMC President SMC Member
PS Kalasuwafala PS Kalasuwafala