The further down the economic ladder one goes, these figures get worse. Nearly 40% of adolescent girls are not attending school or college, with most forced to do household duties, beg on the streets or be a dependant. Dream Girl work towards changing this reality.
Sadly, poverty and child labour go hand in hand. When parents don’t earn enough to provide two meals a day, the burden often falls on the children. And that’s how 11-year-old Tumpa was forced to work as a nanny, alongside her mother.
Her father, who works as a construction labourer in Gurugram, is unable to adequately support his family - especially paying for the education of his four children. This is where Dream Girl stepped in. They ran a campaign to help enrol Tumpa in a government school nearby and thanks to that, she is now studying in third standard.
Founded in 2003, Dream Girl try to improve the lives of underprivileged girls through quality education, providing them hope for a better future. Using a holistic approach, they focus not only on education, but also sanitation, health, income generation and AIDS awareness among other issues.
They work with urban poor communities who live in Gurugram, New Delhi, Noida and parts of Mumbai under harsh circumstances and force their children into informal employment for survival. While Dream Girl focus on the girl child, boys in similar circumstances are not excluded from their duty of care.
Dream Girl staff approach these struggling families by talking to the parents and spreading awareness about the importance of education through camps and workshops. They have also set up non-formal education centres - such as the one in Surya Vihar, Gurugram, where they provide elementary education to prepare children ready for enrolment in a proper government school.
Another main area of focus is the health of the children, especially helping families when struck by life-threatening conditions such cancer. Through Project Zindagi, Dream Girl provide financial assistance and take on the responsibility of the treatment of children suffering from such health issues.
Help this foundation uplift more children out of the adverse effects of poverty.