A district with a 38000 square kilometre area and the third-largest district of India. Empty roads where you can die due to lack of water or can be lost in the desert- it is none other than Jaisalmer. It has a density of people 17 per square kilometre whereas in Delhi it is 17000 per square kilometre. The government is struggling to provide basic needs of health and education in this area. Still, a big number of unenrolled children and people are not preferring institutional deliveries.
After Covid-19’s negative impacts, it was found that more than 20% of girls are going to drop out of basic education. It is due to safety norms by society and government, economic issues, lack of importance of education, child marriages etc.
While working in the district it was difficult for me to ensure the well being of these girl children. They are lacking education, health, rights, basic necessities and basic independence. Overall they are lacking in availing their life chances. In lack of all this, they will surely not growing towards a better future and becoming a supportive youngster for the nation.
Surely it was becoming the biggest need of Jaisalmer to consider. Piramal foundation started a campaign Saksham Bitiya Abhiyan to ensure well being of girls’ education. According to this work should be done on improving Life chances and Lifeskills of girl children through various activities.
We set a target of reaching 55 thousand adolescents girls through this. As we all know it is hard to reach each and every girl in the district because of the sand dunes and army area restrictions and army barricades. We initially generated 50+ volunteers and started executing’s this.
We found higher interest among girls for that. We initiated it in campaign mode and through social media platform we reached 100+ volunteers to work for these life skill activities soon we reached 1000+ girls of the district but it was not sufficient. We decided to take the support of the District administration. At first, we made an agreement with the health department because they have their grass-root workers as ASHA and Aganwandi Karykarta in the villages of Jaisalmer.
Through this approach, we trained them and they executed life skill sessions, but it was not sufficient as 30 Gram Panchayats out of 140 Gram Panchayats do not have an Internet connection. we are missing at least 300+ villages. Later on, we took the support of the education department and as they have regular follow up mechanism for grassroots schools. We successfully added 10000+ girls with this practice.
We partnered with 10+ local, national and international NGOs working in that area to support us in that campaign. Recently we collaborated with the Women and Child Development Department of the district. We also collaborated with some SHG Groups, some Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers, Skill India students, local colleges and tourists.
We collaborated with Panchayat Raj institutions and made an agreement with the Sarpanch to let this message spread in all villages. Due to these huge efforts, currently, we are working with 15000 girl children and training them on improving life chances.