LUCKNOW: The number of school dropouts, especially the girls, runs into lakhs in UP annually. Reasons may be galore but in Chandwara village of Barabanki district, 40 km from Lucknow, there is hardly any school for secondary education of girls in the close vicinity of the village.
Consequently, most of the girls stop studies after Class VIII as they have to walk 5-6 km and in many cases, parents don’t find it safe.
Most girls either get into the grind of daily life helping their mothers’ in household chores or just wait to get married off.
Manorama, 12, was depressed after being forbidden by father to go to school outside the village for studies. Manorama’s elder sister had the same fate and was married off within a year of leaving school.
The women raised the issue with their Gram Pradhan (village head) Prakashini Jaiswal urging her to find a way.
Safety issues, lack of public transport and distance are the factors because of which most the girls stop school.
There were only two options. Either a secondary school in the village for the girls or some arrangement be made so that the could girls could reach safely said Prakashini.
Prakashini came up with idea of arranging cycles for girls to ensure that they reach their school on time.
She said that the idea of Kishori Cycle bank came because affording a cycle was difficult for the families and more plausible than
Prakashini says that she got a survey done over girls schooling in the village which showed that lack of commutation facilities was the biggest reason for dropout.