Monday, November 22, 2010

Let’s Celebrate! Children's Day with Ibtada

On 14th November 2010, Ibtada celebrated Children’s Day with 500 plus girls studying at Taleemshala and IIMPACT team. All girls who passed Class V exam were proud to be presented at the stage in Mahua Khurd Village. None of the girls were shy away to perform dance and songs in front of big audience. No agitation or complains from village elders who attended the event. What I saw was the remarkable transformation of people around the girl child education.

It was this very village where I spent 15 days with 29 girls who first entered Class V exam in 2004. Girls from five different villages got together in one farmer’s house to catch up with Class V exam. There was no running water, nor electricity in the village, so we pumped up water, purchased 400kg wood for fire, used two gas-lights to study at night. All girls cried after few days, as they missed their families. Some girls gained weight as they could eat as much they want, not waiting for male family members to complete meals. Many of them complained to me that I made them write lots of English every day that their hands were aching. None of them dropped out from the camp, and all of them passed Class V exam.

Back then, everything was uncertain. Teachers and coordinators were not sure how much girls can perform in the exam. Villagers were very skeptical to girl child education. Some religious leaders preached against dancing, singing, and drawing animals. It was just 6 years ago, Ibtada sent out first 29 girls out of its school (Taleemshala), and today, the number reached over 200. I saw confidence in everyone’s eye; coordinator, supervisors, teachers, students, and village elders on girl child education.

It’s truly the day of celebration for Ibtada.
Congratulation for all!
And thank you for letting me in the part of your journey.

(Mana Tanaka, Former Coordinator of Ibtada)