Many Girls in India wish for the luxury of education.
Some families cannot afford to give education to women. Some families can only afford to educate one person in the family, and they prefer to educate the male child rather than the female. But some families work hard to educate their girls. These girls can experience the luxury of education but some problems come along. Many of these girls live in slum areas, so they cannot afford school supplies and books. If they need help with homework or preparing for a test, they cannot ask their parents for help as many aren't educated. To do something for these girls, Seva Barathi started a program called Kishori Vikas which aims to improve girls' lives in slums.
About Kishori Vikas:
Seva Bharathi, a non-profit organization started in 1989, works among economically weaker areas in India such as education, health, social equality, and empowerment of the underprivileged. Under Seva Barathi, Kishori Vikas is one of India’s largest girl empowerment programs. Kishori Vikas started in 2005 and aims to improve the lives of girl children living in the slums. Volunteers and Coaches work to train a girl child in education, health care, sanitation, fine arts, and more.
The progress of Kishori Vikas wouldn’t have happened without the dedicated volunteers and coordinators like Manasaji and Renukaji who volunteer at the Kishori Vikas in LB Nagar, Hyderabad. The coordinators like Renukaji, interact with the students and parents to find out how is their financial status and if there is anything to do to help them. They also hire volunteers to help teach students.
Manasaji worked at Kishori Vikas as a volunteer for two years. She got interested in working at Kishori Vikas because she wanted to do something for the children. “Most of the students here are from the slums and they can't afford to buy school supplies, even things like pencils or erasers. Kishori Vikas does its best to give them supplies to learn. Even I have sometimes given them pencils, pens, or even books whenever they needed because they aren't in a position to get their own”, says Manasaji. She gets happiness teaching children and believes she got a good opportunity to help children in India.
What happens in Kishori Vikas:
Kishori Vikas is an after school program where children can learn to build empowerment. During the weekday the teachers at Kishori Vikas go over the topics discussed in school to help the students better understand the topic. On the weekends, Kishori Vikas teaches girls various ways to enhance themselves. Kishori Vikas teaches these girls how to be healthy and safe during Covid such as wearing a mask, washing their hands, and more. Some families don’t even have money to buy themselves medicine so Kishori Vikas teaches students how to make medicine and treatments using things in our day-to-day lives. To get physical exercise, they do Yoga, self defense and Indian Martial Arts like Niyuddha and Silambam. They also learn things that may be used in the future to make money like making thread design bangles or craft paper earrings. They also do other activities such as dancing, singing, and drawing.
At school, some students don’t ask the teachers questions because they are scared of what will the teacher think of them. In Kishori Vikas, a bond is formed between the volunteers and the girls as they call each other Akka (sister). Whenever they need anything they just go to their Akka to get questions answered and not be scared of anyone without being scared. Siblings have an inseparable bond and when the girls at Kishori Vikas call their volunteers Akka, it creates the same type of bond siblings have.
The astonishing fact about these children is their patriotism for India. During their drawing time, they could have drawn anything like flowers, cars, or even animals but some of these girls drew something that children below the age of 10 don’t expect. Many of these girls were drawing something related to India which shows their patriotism for the country. One of the girls, Anya, was drawing the Indian flag on a pole filled with a field with flowers around it. This shows her love for the country at a young age which is something you don’t see in kids often.
The success of Kishori Vikas has given girls a better opportunity to navigate their lives better. Thanks to Kishori Vikas, girls from the slums are more enlightened in education, health care, sanitation, survival skills, and self-defense. Kishori Vikas motivates these girls by influencing them that “Girls Should Be Strong!” Because of this honorable act that takes place in India, Kishori Vikas continues to strive to make the world a better place for girls in slums with the support of many communities who are appreciative of their great work. It is inspiring to see a community become one to help others in kindness.
“Links.” Vaidehi Kishori Vikas Yojana, kishoryvikas.blogspot.com/p/links.html. Accessed 27 July 2022.
Kapur, Manavi. “Kishori Vikas – One of India’s Largest Girl Empowerment Programs.” News X Media, 18 Sept. 2021, newsxmedia.com/retreat/kishori-vikas-one-of-indias-largest-girl-empowerment-programs.
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