Vodafone supports 120,000 girls in Rajasthan
Manju (11) lives in small village in the tribal belt of Rajasthan. Manju's father is a stonemason. Manju is the youngest child in her family and has three brothers and a sister. Manju’s elder sister is married and has never been to school. Manju aspired to study and be the Sarpanch of her village but was convinced that her fate will be the same as her sister. She kept busy cooking at home for her family while she watched the children in her village march to school every morning.
Suhani (12), used to go to school until a few years ago. She struggled with making progress in reading and writing and had no way of getting additional support to improve her learning. Her parents thought that she wasn’t gaining much and so they stopped Suhani’s schooling. Suhani was then confined to cooking, cleaning, fetching water and taking care of her younger siblings at home.
Manju and Suhani are just 2 amongst the 120,000 girls in rural Rajasthan who had to drop out of school but were supported by Educate Girls and Vodafone India to return back to pursue their dreams.
Vodafone, one of India’s telecommunications service providers, as part of its commitment to the national movement ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, partnered with Educate Girls, (an NGO that focuses on enrolling, retaining and improving the learning outcomes of young girls aged 6-14 years) and raised Rs. 4.5 crore through several initiatives to support the education of over 120,000 out-of-school girls. These young girls hail from Pali, Jalore, Sirohi, Ajmer, Bundi and Rajsamand districts in Rajasthan.
Handing over the cheque for the funds raised to Educate Girls, Mr. P. Balaji, Director – Regulatory, External Affairs & CSR, Vodafone India, said, “Education is fundamental to driving social change. For young girls, basic education is even more important as it forms the critical first step of a larger objective - enabling them to make genuine choices about the kind of life they wish to lead. The benefits of educating girls are manifold. An educated woman has the requisite skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. It also has a strong multiplier effect for when you educate a girl, you are educating an entire family. At Vodafone, we are always keen to leverage our capabilities and resources in partnering with the government and the developmental sector to play our due role in nation development. I wish all the girls a great future.”
Affirming Vodafone’s commitment, Mr. Amit Bedi, Business Head- Rajasthan, Vodafone India, said, “In Rajasthan, children, especially girls look forward to going to school and learn but are often constrained to do this diligently. I am glad that at Vodafone, we have had the opportunity to support their education as a part of our commitment to the national priority of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’. Our collective efforts have enabled over 1, 20, 000 young girls to follow their dreams. I thank our NGO partner Educate Girls and my colleagues at Vodafone India for their commitment and support for this cause.”
Thanking Vodafone for its support and contribution, Safeena Husain, Founder and Executive Director, Educate India, said, “It is indeed very heartening to have a corporation of Vodafone’s stature support Educate Girls. Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference program has helped Educate Girls Immensely with fundraising and capacity building at the field level. Vodafone’s contribution will go a long way as Educate Girls attempts to impact over 30 lac children across 27,000 schools in the underserved educationally backward districts of Rajasthan.”
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