Educate girls of manual scavengers
Focus: Education, Social Exclusion, Girl Child
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A stationery kit for one girl costs just Rs 150
The children of over 1million Dalits, who make a living as manual scavengers in India, face constant discrimination in school. They are made to clean classrooms and toilets, sit at the back of the class so as to not “pollute” upper caste kids and are served midday meals on paper plates while others eat off steel ones. Most girls drop out from primary school and join their mothers in the dirty job or look after younger siblings.WHY IN UJJAIN AND DEWAS
Jan Sahas work with manual scavengers in Ujjain and Dewas districts of Madhya Pradesh, where most of them don’t see the need to send their girl children to school. They’re married off young, and have no other way of supporting their families other than continuing in the occupation. Jan Sahas’s Garima Kendra Education Centre is working to end this.
I began cleaning dry toilets when I was 10 or 11 years old with my mother and four sisters. Then I was married and joined my mother-in-law for cleaning. I had never heard that there could be a life other than this.
Manual scavenging is … a deeply unhealthy, unsavoury and undignified job forced upon these people because of the stigma attached to their caste. The nature of the work itself then reinforces that stigma.
In school girls from other caste never touch us. They never use the glass which is used by us. Even they do not sit beside us.
Jan Sahas will identify girls that are not yet enrolled in school and motivate them through their Garima Kendra Education Centre. They will particularly concentrate on daughters of liberated manual scavengers. As an incentive, each girl will be given five notebooks, a geometry box and a set of writing stationery – an expense that is not a priority for their families.
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