Even today, girls are married off at an early age in the rural parts of our country right after they start menstruating. At an age where they should be encouraged to study, they are made to sit at home. Even if they want to study, girls face two major problems – first, their families think that education is only for boys and second, their poor financial condition makes them unable to pay for their education.
Battling such a problem, a unique school in Anupshahar, Uttar Pradesh, pays girls from poor households Rs 10 every day to encourage them to come for class. Over 1600 girls from across 65 villages in the district have gotten wings due to this school making them able to work or pursue higher studies, reports Dainik Bhaskar.
The Pardada-Pardadi school was founded by Virender Singh – a resident of Anupshahar who worked in America for most of his life and came back to do some good for the Indian society.
One day, he came across a young girl, barely 13 years of age, who had a bloodstain on her clothes. He heard the girl’s aunt telling the mother that she was now of marriageable age and that she needed to get married off. It was then when Virender Singh decided to do something for the girls of Anupshahar.
He started a school named ‘Pardada Pardadi Inter College’ for girls belonging to the lowest strata of society. Only girls from poor households could get admission to this school. They promised free education and food for these girls. However, the parents were sceptical and didn’t want to get their girls admitted.
It was then when the school started to offer Rs 10 for every day the girls came for class and the amount could only be claimed after they finished school. This was to prevent sneaky families from using their daughters for money, as there were some who stopped girls from going to school after they received a few thousand rupees!
Virender Singh was doubtful whether the girls would continue their education after completing school. The thought of some families using the incentive to marry them off crossed his mind. However, he was happy to find that by the time the girls finished school, they wanted to study further!
So, the school went beyond their duty and started giving loans to girls who couldn’t afford college fees who agreed that they will return the money once they started working. Turns out, all the girls who had taken a loan were able to return the amount to the school!
“On an average, every child’s education in school costs Rs 39,000 annually. This money is mostly paid by NRIs who have taken up the education of these children,” said the school.
“If it weren’t for this school, we could have never been able to give our daughter an education. Today, when our daughter speaks in English, we are filled with pride,” said the father of a student.
Kudos to the school and Virender Singh for their noble deed!