The K.C. Mahindra Education Trust, Project Nanhi Kali- Empower underprivileged girls!
Anand Mahindra established Project Nanhi Kali at K.C. Mahindra Education Trust in 1996 to educate underprivileged girls in India. One of India’s biggest programs, Project Nanhi Kali, helps disadvantaged girls finish their 10 years of education. The project offers the girls daily academic assistance as well as an annual supply package, enabling them to go to school with dignity and gain self-confidence.
Sugna Bhuriya was born into a tribe of migrant people. Her academic performance suffered as a result of the family’s continual moving. She is currently enrolled in her first year of college. Snehal’s family relocated to Mumbai to find work, but when her parents got sick, it appeared that she might have to stop going to school. Today, though, she is working on a Science degree. What prevented them from quitting school? Sugna states “Project Nanhi Kali.”
The K.C. Mahindra Education Trust has helped numerous girls succeed, including Sugna, as one of their primary goals is to empower women.
Project Nanhi Kali (small buds, in Hindi), this women empowerment initiative started by Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, was established as a participation sponsorship scheme to aid the cause of educating underprivileged girls. “The project helps girls between the ages of five and 15 complete their education and provides them with comprehensive support, including daily after-school academic support through Academic Support Centres (ASC), which operate within government school grounds, to empower the girls,” says Sheetal Mehta, Senior Vice-President, CSR, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Every girl under Project Nanhi Kali receives an annual school supply kit that includes a school bag, stationery, a pullover, a raincoat, and feminine hygiene products. They can give the girls access to custom adaptive learning software that is preloaded on tablets thanks to cooperation with an ed-tech business.
The project was started in the context of a spiraling population growth rate, low female literacy rates, and poor participation rates for women in the labor force. Additionally, societal problems like child labor and child marriage were widespread in many sections of India, particularly in the countryside.
Anand Mahindra felt the need for women’s empowerment since there was a direct connection between the widespread social ills in India, such as superstition, dowry killings, the caste system, and the under-education of females. He thought that if the underprivileged girls received an education, they would not only help the nation’s economy but also build the groundwork for a more just and equitable society and be able to empower themselves and take charge of their own lives.
The current World Bank research, which claims that insufficient educational opportunities for girls and obstacles to completing 12 years of education cost countries between $15 trillion and $30 trillion in lost lifetime productivity and earnings, has repeatedly supported this claim. The K.C. Mahindra Education Trust recognized the critical need for funding girls’ education as part of Project Nanhi Kali since it has a profound effect on their income and way of living.
In turn, this results in reduced fertility rates, fewer child marriages, improved overall family health and nutrition, and a rise in social capital.
Women’s empowerment is the project’s driving force. Women from the neighborhood are trained to become learning facilitators and mentors for the girls as well as community stakeholders to ensure the girls are educated and empowered. These women are known as Community Associates.
It is widely acknowledged that achieving gender parity is essential for accelerating social and economic development. Caste, religion, and gender differences in schooling can be seen in a nation as profoundly stratified as India. Due to school closings, the epidemic made already existent gender disadvantages in education worse for girls from disadvantaged homes.
Boys are more likely to go back to school, while some girls may never go back because they are compelled to work, become caregivers, or get married young. This project operates in areas where there is a gender imbalance and there are weak social indicators for women and girls. Every time they go to a new place, the team starts their operations by asking the locals about the difficulties girls have getting to and finishing school.