Fellow: Prabha Vilas Jadhav
Grant Year: 2019
Location: Pune District, Maharashtra, India
Organization: Work for Equality
Project title: Adequate Sanitation Facilities in Schools to a Decrease Girls’ Drop-Out Rate
Project summary: Work for Equality aims to improve sanitation in schools in order to reduce school dropout rates among girls. They will advocate with school management and education officials in Pune district to require sanitation facilities in 15 government aided secondary schools in Khed block. The Indian Government has already launched the School Sanitation and Hygiene Program implemented through Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Education for All), the National Secondary Education Campaign, and the Comprehensive Education Campaign. However, the 2011 national census data revealed 61% of girls dropped out of secondary school and Work for Equality found that only 1 out of 5 girls in Khed block even reach secondary school. Lack of basic sanitary and cleanliness facilities is one of the crucial reasons behind the dropout of 23% girl students, and only 10% of public schools in Maharashtra have appropriate basic sanitation facilities (2018 Annual Status of Education Report).
Work for Equality will build the leadership skills of 600 girls in the Pune district to enable them to assert their rights. They will also build alliances with other like-minded organizations, School Management Committees, and the media, and together, they will all work as a pressure group to advocate with the officers and school management to add the required sanitation facilities in all schools. Once the Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer, Education Officer Secondary Schools, and Deputy Director Education give an order for effective implementation of the School Sanitation and Hygiene Program, the sanitation situation will be upgraded in 15 schools, impacting 1,500 students in Pune district. With adequate sanitation facilities, girls will have their basic needs met and feel comfortable attending school, which will in turn decrease girls’ dropout rates.