Integrated Development of Adolescent girls
Status of Girl Child and Women
The status of the girl child in Haryana is low compared to many other states on all parameters. Under-privileged girls are particularly prone to gender discrimination, poor nutrition, domestic abuse and lack of support for education opportunities. Many do not go to schools and those who do, lag behind in studies because they are burdened with household duties and they take care of their siblings. They are deprived of supplementary educational support, their parents being uneducated or semi educated cannot help them in their studies, neither can they afford to arrange for tuition which has become the general norm for every child rich or poor. Where there are limitations on resources the needs and aspirations of the girl child are severely compromised. On many occasions these girls are married early and consequentially enter into early motherhood which adversely impacts on their health.
Adolescent girls who are deprived, discriminated against and stressed, grow up to be diffident, fearful women without any identity. They have no say regarding their own lives and those of their children. Many of them are victims of domestic violence and become party to female foeticide or infanticide under pressure. They do not have the capability to rise above their existing plight and accept their low status as an act of providence. It is for these marginalised girls that VRCT decided to work for the all-around development of the girl child. In order to avoid dichotomy between the new learning skills being imparted to the adolescents and the prevailing thinking of their mothers and other female members of the house, VRCT decided to take up simultaneously work for women’s empowerment. The backbone of these two activities is community work for changing the thought process of women, girls and the community in favour of gender equality, promotion of health and education facilities. The main objective is to make them self-reliant and confident and to take them away from the mode of dependency on male members and enable them to take a stand against gender discrimination, domestic violence, sexual abuse and drug substance abuse.
For the growth and development of adolescent girls, both for school going and non-school going girls VRCT has organised them in Kishori Jagriti Mandalis in 21 locations, where they are given academic and non-academic support like workshops, sports, yoga, karate and dramatics. This is need-based and is an expanding activity.