An education can change your life – Malti’s story
Malti’s* day would start early at around 5 in the morning, when she would have to milk the only cow of the house. Once that was done, she would get the fire started in the kitchen and she would get tea ready for the entire family. Helping her mother out in the kitchen would be her next task, as she would see her two younger brothers getting ready for school. Once her father and brothers had left, Malti’s mother would ask her to shift focus to cleaning out the cow shed and then the entire house. Attention would soon have to washing clothes, getting fodder for the cow, cooking dinner and before she knew it, the day would be over and the same routine would start the next day!
There was not a single moment of thought given to the benefits of girl education and how it could change and effect the life of not only the girl, but also those around her.
Today, Malti’s day still starts at around 5; but once she is done with her morning chores, her mother takes over everything else, because Malti leaves the house at the same time as her brothers, because she is now going to school!
It was on a late morning, that the Educate Girls volunteer came knocking at her house. They took the time and effort to patiently explain to the parents, the benefits of allowing their daughter, a chance at education. The volunteers understood that sending a girl to school could mean a financial burden, but with an organisation like Educate Girls, Malti would be able to get enrolled in the nearest government school, where there would be no expenditure for her education. Malti could come to attend classes, without her parents having to spend a single rupee.
Educate Girls’ explained to the parents the benefits of quality education – with an education, not only would Malti become a contributing member of the society, she would also be able to help out better at home. She would know the importance of health and hygiene – why it is necessary to use a toilet rather than going out into the open and why sanitary pads are the better option than old cloth, during periods. She would know to help out with the finances at home – from ensuring the groceries were within budget to putting a little something away for a rainy day as well.
Education can also help bring financial independence for women – an educated Malti would be able to get a better job and that would translate into more money and greater respect in the society as well. For all one knew, in the future, Malti would become an entrepreneur, who would employee others, but that would be far more possible, if she had a proper education in hand!
Educate Girls also made the parents aware of the social benefits of education – educated girls were less likely to marry at a very young age, have too many children and fall prey to domestic violence. An educated Malti would get married at an age where she was mentally and physically ready, she would have one or two children, whom she would be able to give a good life and education too. And because she would be aware of her rights, she would not take stand witness to any kind of violence, ensuring a good life for herself and her family.
At Educate Girls, our aim remains to bring girls from the most marginalised sections of society back to the classrooms and every time you donate, you are helping us do so!
*name changed to protect identity
Posted on June 16, 2023