Problem we are solving
It is proven, and shreds of evidence showed how important it is to keep girls' education central to national development, gender equality, and poverty eradication. Worldwide 132 million girls are out of school. End numbers of reasons behind this unwanted data i:e poverty, inaccessibility of basic health facilities, lack of access to sanitary products, child marriages, hygiene, and sanitation facilities at schools and teaching practices.
Access to education in rural areas is still a major concern, especially for girls. As per (ASER 2018) report, 17.3 percent of girls aged (15-17) are still out of school. 23 million girls in India drop out of school annually because of a lack of access to menstrual hygiene facilities, including the availability of sanitary napkins and awareness about menstruation (Dasara, 2019). Societal norms, lack of menstrual health support, and poor infrastructure forcefully stop girls from attaining education. Adding on to that, girls from rural areas face even more complex forms of inequality like, acute poverty, access to education, basic healthcare facilities including access to menstrual products, and mental health support.
Our multi-pronged approach centrally aligned with sustainable development goals focuses on providing holistic support to adolescent girls from rural areas to break free from the vicious cycle of poverty. We have partnered with various stakeholders, community leaders, field experts, sanitary pad suppliers, and recognized medical experts and mentors to provide this support.
Our intervention area Beed is considered as one of the backward districts of the state of Maharashtra. Beed district has the highest number of child marriages in the past, nearly up to 51 percent of the girls get married before they turn 18 (NFHS, 2018). Absence of quality education, mentorship and assisted career guidance refrains girls, parents, and community at large to make informed choices, directly leading to following the generation-old child marriage decision.
Now, owing to the pandemic which has created grim economic crises. Restriction on movement of girls, increase in alcoholism by the men at home, increase in a number of early marriages, child trafficking, reluctance to spend on menstrual products, and poor to no access to education will certainly push girls from rural areas towards the bottom of the pyramid. And in this scenario, will the mental health status of the adolescents from such areas be considered? Well, this particular question is one of the biggest reasons for Kanyaka to design a holistic intervention to cater to the dire needs of the girls from this area.
Empower and educate adolescent girls in Maharashtra
Allocation and Provision of required resources
Provide access to menstrual products, awareness and guidance on menstrual health
Enhance life skills and 21-st century skills, i.e. communication, critical thinking, self confidence
Provide dedicated mentor support on a regular basis
Increased awareness about menstrual health
Safe spaces availability to overcome mental health issues
Increased accessibility and availability of basic resources
Focused attention and guidance to grow through career mentorship / guidance
Zero child marriages
Gradually uprooted gender norms
Adolescent Girl Empowerment Initiative: क्षमता
All the programs focus on educating and building awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene and mental health by empowering girls to continue their education and assist them to make informed career choices so as to live a dignified life.
Mental Health Support Initiative: मनोबल
Kanyaka’s project, ‘Manobal.’ मनोबल is designed in a way where we adolescent girls can get engaged virtually with our mental health experts to share their concerns.
Also, the project involves family members, community to help and create a healthy surrounding so that children, girls, or any member of the community do not suffer through it.
Kanyaka Fellowship Program: जिज्ञासा
The holistic Kanyaka Fellowship Program consisting of a cohort of fifty students will be instituted. These fellows will receive special attention and guidance in the form of a dedicated mentor to assist with the enhancement of leadership skills, internship linkages with partner organizations and help in identifying scholarships/funds/support for college applications.