If you’d ask me “Why should I donate/help?” my simple response would be, “Why do you think you shouldn’t?”. But here are few of the million reasons :
In many parts of India, especially Haryana and Punjab with a skewed sex ratio, the arrival of a baby girl calls for mourning rather than celebration. Abandoning them at birth or marrying them off as children is common practice. Daughters are looked upon as a huge economic burden. It is hardly surprising that many families don’t see the point in investing in their girls’ education and do not send them to school.
The True Picture
Government of India statistics reveal that only 3 out of 10 girls who enter class 1, complete class 10. While enrollment rates of girls are improving marginally in India, dropout levels remain alarmingly high. At primary school level, over 45% of girls dropout of school and this percentage increases to over 73% by the time the child has reached class 10. Research has shown that reasons for this dropout may be as minor as the girl child not being able to afford a school dress/uniform to go to school and could also include more complex factors like girls taking on the responsibility of household chores at a very young age as a result of gender stereotyping.
Why Should Women Be Educated?
Successful education of the girl child has been repeatedly acknowledged as an effective mechanism to break this inter-generational cycle of poverty, social norms, myths and social evils. Research conducted in developing countries has shown that a literate female population is linked to reduction in population growth rates. On the other hand, illiteracy breeds ignorance and fear that only increases her vulnerability to be exposed to lifelong abuse, suppression and exploitation.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.” It is a fact that the social condition of women of any nation is a pointer to the level of development of that nation. And talking of India, a country currently dominated by crime against women, a positive step towards educating girls will lead to a huge change in the socio-economic scenario of our country.
Every day, millions of underprivileged girl children in India wake with the hope that today might be the day when someone would reach out to them and support them to fulfill their dreams. I am sure all of us love buying good branded clothes and shoes, eating in high-end restaurants, attending parties and so on. But I wonder if we ever spare a moment before buying a Rs.4000 dress to think that maybe a girl, who is not as privileged and blessed as us to have these luxuries, can get education for a whole year from these 4000 rupees. And to young kids, I don’t think that the thought of educating an underprivileged girl comes to your minds, even for a second, when you are out there buying that expensive video game or Barbie.
I urge you to ask yourself very simple questions :
Buying an expensive branded dress or donating the same amount for the education of an underprivileged girl child?
Going out to eat in a high-end restaurant or donating the same amount for the education of an underprivileged girl child?
Buying that super cool video game/toy or helping a child less privileged than you to study and complete her education?
The decision is yours. Can we not spare a thought for those underprivileged girl children of our nation, cut down on a few of your luxuries sometimes and be that special someone who will create that difference in their lives?