Nation Other News 20 Aug 2016 In UP’s Badaun ...

In UP’s Badaun district, beti bachao means ‘beti mat padao’

DECCAN CHRONICLE | TEENA THACKER
Published Aug 20, 2016, 10:34 am IST
Updated Aug 20, 2016, 10:35 am IST
Most girls, after reaching puberty, are forced to drop out of school as parents feel this is the way for girls to escape harassment, rape.
Most girls drop out of school to help in household chores.
 Most girls drop out of school to help in household chores.

Badaun: Extensive efforts of the government to promote “Beti Bachao-Beti Padao” have failed to change ground realities. At least in the villages surrounding Badaun. Silence hangs heavy in all villages adjoining Katra Sadatganj, where two girls were gangraped and hanged from a tree. The incident had caused outrage and anger then, but what still persists is the threat to “personal security” so much so that most girls, after reaching puberty, are forced to drop out of school as the parents feel that this is the only way for the girls to escape harassment and rape. While parents claim that they are driven to helplessness, the girls are yet to find an answer to their plight. Around 40 km from Badaun, the narrow lanes reaching Mirzapur Atiarraja village in Usawa block have many such stories. “Maa kehti hai zamana kharab hai, school nahi jana. I want to go to school, but what to do,” 15- year-old Ramkhiloni said.

Ramkhiloni has studied till Class 7. However, last year, when a girl was abducted while going to school, Ramkhiloni’s parents got her name struck off from school in no time. Ramkhiloni had big dreams though, “Padd jate to kuch bann hi jate,” she said, hiding her tears. These days she cooks and helps her mother in household chores. Kunti (16) is no different. The beautiful girl has a doting grand-mother and everytime Kunti says “yes,” the grandmother’s eyes spark up just for a reason that Kunti is handful of those in the village who have studied till Class 8 and have the courage to speak English (yes: to be precise). “I wanted to become a teacher. But my parents don’t allow me to go to school. My father has got me a sewing machine so that I can learn it,” she said in a sad voice. Kunti studied till Class 8 after which she was made to sit at home. With a total population of 896, the village see drop out cases every year.

 

This year, 18 children in the age group of 6-14 have dropped out — comprising of 11 girls and 6 boys. For boys, the reason is simple: being indifferent. For some, however, “safety is an issue”, the nearby railway line that they have to cross to reach their school and goons in the adjoining villages are a big deterrent.

The narrow lanes to another tiny village, called Prithvi Nagla, in Badaun compromise the safety. There are 85 families and all have a similar story. While the boys can study, it’s a strict no-no for girls. The matter has become worse after two girls were raped.

 

There is no junior school in the village, therefore to continue studies after Class 5, the road to school is through dangerous zig zag and mysterious sugarcane fields. “Children have to make a threatening journey crossing sugarcane fields to reach school, which is 6-7 km away. The villagers don’t send their girls,” said 42-year-old Sukhdevi, an ASHA for the villagers.

She has tried to convince people, but then “log kehte hai, kuch ho gaya to harjana tum bharogi kya? As a result, even Sukhdevi’s daughters don’t attend school. “There is no transport. A girl was recently abducted. She is pregnant now. People are scared and don’t want to take any chance.”

 

Kunti (12), from the same village, is one brave girl, she has convinced some families to send their girls along with her. “I tell them that if we go together, nobody can touch us. I am not scared. I want to study and will not leave studies come what may,” she said with confidence. From the same village, 13 girls have stopped going to school this year.

(This story originally appeared in the Asian Age)

...
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Budaun




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
-->