Submitted on behalf of Anjum, who lives in a village with no internet or even electricity.
My name is Anjum and I am 16. I am the first girl along with my classmate Farana who also goes to school with me in Blossom Bus, in the history of my village Babupur in Mewat district Haryana to reach grade 10 in a school. I am told that this is an achievement. How? My parents are not much happy about this achievement as they are happier with the money they are expecting from the harvest being done.
Nobody in the village congratulated me. I do not know how to celebrate and with whom. The girls of my age are busy in harvesting, helping their mothers. Not many girls from my village go to school and none goes to a school after grade five as we do not have an upper primary school in the village. I know most of the girls of my age are married and most of them have kids at 16 in Mewat and nobody complaining.
A question comes to my mind when I do not find any other girl from my village to celebrate. Who is responsible for this situation where no girl has studied till grade 8 or ten in my village? Parents? Teachers? School authorities or the girls themselves are blamed by some parents. I think everyone. The parents never took any initiative to send the girls to school beyond grade five, away from the village because it is not safe. But is it not unsafe at home or when working in the fields alone and unprotected? Is it not true that the girls if educated are better prepared to protect themselves? The parents are escaping from their responsibility putting the blame on the society in Mewat. It requires courage to stand apart from the masses and do something which seems to be difficult but is better.
The lethargic and insensitive teachers taking advantage of the attitude of the parents also discourage girls to come to school, as more students means more work for some teachers who only want to come to school to mark attendance. We have lethargic higher authorities as I have never seen a Block Education Officer or District Education Officer coming to our school and patting on our back for coming to a school four kilometers away from our home.