a woman with a group of girls
Knowledge is the greatest gift
The Life Skills Education that us girls get from Ashok’s organization has given Rojina knowledge and boosted her confidence.

“The Life Skills Education that us girls get from Ashok’s organization has given me knowledge and boosted my confidence. My dad never used to think about my education at all before. He understands now and he’s got big plans for me!” says Rojina, 15, who dreams of one day becoming a teacher. But Rojina is already teaching others by being a peer leader for a Girls Club, which they’ve decided to call Savitribai Phule.

Savitribai Phule was alive in the 19th century. She was India’s first female teacher and she started a school for girls and fought for girls’ and women’s rights. Savitribai paved the way for us girls and she’s my role model. I’m hugely grateful to her. If it hadn’t been for her, girls would never have had so much freedom. We would have just been prisoners in our own homes.

“I’m one of the peer leaders in our Girls Club, and sometimes when we’re teaching about girls’ rights in villages or schools, I put on a play about Savitribai Phule. I think it’s important because her message about girls’ rights is just as relevant today as it was when she was alive. Some families still don’t let their daughters go to school. They think there’s no point, as the daughter will still be married off and belong to another family.”

two girls and a woman

"Adults who see my performance are surprised that as a Muslim girl I choose to put on a play about Savitribai, who was a Hindu. But everyone enjoys it and thinks it’s really good!” says Rojina.

Girls improve the village

“I think it’s all wrong. If a girl gets an education, it won’t just change her life, it will also change the family, the village and the whole of society for the better.
   “In India, girls are also subjected to harassment and sexual violence. Domestic abuse is also very common. But as more girls get to go to school and learn about their rights through Girls Clubs like ours, I believe things will change.

Indian girl showing three different outfits

Rojina as a student …… peer educator … … and as Savitribai Phule.

Knowledge gives confidence

“The knowledge I’ve gained from Ashok’s organization has given me confidence. As a peer leader in the Girls Club, I pass the knowledge I’ve gained about girls’ rights on to others, both children and adults. And knowledge is the greatest gift you can give to anyone. When I do it, I feel a bit like Savitribai Phule, and that actually makes me proud!”

 
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