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Dalit girls gain access to education
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2 June 2021

Dalit girls gain access to education

The Dalits in India are at the bottom of the social ladder, and are even left out of the caste system. Discrimination based on the caste system is prohibited in India. However, the Dalits are confronted with it on a daily basis: they are denied access to health care, education, housing and work. Zorg van de Zaak Foundation is of the opinion that everyone is entitled to education and health care. Therefore, we will be a financing an organisation which gives Dalit girls a chance to go back to school. The organisation is called ‘SPRMMM’ and was found in 1984: SREE PADMA RANI MARY MAHILA MANDALI.

In rural areas, the children work on the land and are closely involved in rituals and cultural activities. Despite developments aimed at giving everybody access to (free) education, parents often do not send their children to school. On the one hand, because they need the children to generate income. On the other hand, it is because the parents do not see the value of it. In their culture, it is normal for women to focus on marriage, and subsequently supporting their husband and family.

Suma

Suma is 10 years old, and her parents earn their money by moving from one plantation to another. Suma and her little brother used to go to school, until Suma’s mother died from tuberculosis. Her father got addicted to alcohol, and Suma quit school to take care of her brother. Suma came into contact with SPRMMM’s project through her aunt. Now, she has access to education and school books, so that she can work on her future once more.”

SPRMMM works on the development and self-sustainability of women and children. With their project, the organisation aims to give girls and women access to education. When girls go to school, they have more opportunities later on to develop themselves and make choices they wholeheartedly agree with.

Sana

Sana is 11 years old and she also quit school to take care of her family. In order to pay for food, she looked for jobs on the streets. The SPRMMM project offers support to Sana’s family. Now, Sana is able to go to school again, and she is very happy to be learning alongside her peers.”

An important part of the project are the meetings aimed at creating awareness of the importance of education, so that parents will see the value of sending their children to school. So far, 100 parents have attended these meetings, resulting in 153 girls going (back) to school. Zorg van de Zaak Foundation is committed to this project because it enables a positive change in the system. When Dalit girls can go back to school, they can develop themselves and become self-sustainable. This is a big, positive change for the community.