Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma and Ashutosh Bhardwaj
“I loved going to school but I had to quit because I was the only girl in my class. All the other students were boys.”
Daughters in one of India’s most populous states still crying for proper education even as PM Narendra Modi launched an expansion of the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu in March 2018.
In poll-bound Rajasthan, which has the lowest female literacy rate (52 percent) in the country according to census 2011 The Quint visited a desert village near the Indo-Pak border called Bida.
What’s worrying about Bida? That the girls of this village opt out of education way too early. None of the girls in this village have cleared Class 12 yet. In 2011, the local school upgraded to accommodate Class 10 and in the last 7 years, only 7 girls have managed to clear the 10th grade.
“It is difficult to get girls to school. It is even more difficult to get girls to continue their education.”Bhim Singh, School Headmaster
Married at an early age or engaged in household chores, retaining girls in higher classes is an arduous task says Bhim Singh. He says, “Another big reason for women to drop out of education is lack of schools in their village since girls in these remote areas are rarely allowed to travel far to attend classes.”
Clad in a yellow and red traditional attire, 25-year-old Anya says:
“Our village school only provided education till Class 8. To study further, we had to go to Sam village. That’s why I left school. My brother completed his education in Jaisalmer. I couldn’t go and had to stop studying.”
Kattu, who dropped out of Class 11, says she did so because there were no other girls in her class.
“I used to like going to school but there was no other girl with me in the class. There were only boys. That’s why I left school.”Kattu
For those who brave the barriers and wish to continue their education, there are hardly any teachers.
“In this school, many posts are still vacant. In Rajasthan, teachers are appointed on the basis of council system and not many people choose the border villages. They don’t want to come here because there is no network or connectivity. It is very difficult to work here.”Bhim Singh, School Headmaster
Yamuna, who also dropped out her education because for lack of proper facilities in her village says she finds no point in voting in the upcoming elections since the netas don’t work for their progress in the villages.