(Supported by Puneet Malhi Trust and iPartner India)
Udayan Care engaged Grant Thronton (GT) in December 2015 to undertake an impact study in six cities, namely, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Dehradun, Phagwara. Kolkata and Jaipur, with a total of 3,210 Shalinis. The study noted that: Once a girl is educated, it creates virtuous circle of educated generations with better understanding and awareness. This, in turn, leads to lower infant mortality, lower maternal mortality and decrease in child marriage. Educated women stand a better chance of escaping poverty, of leading healthier and more productive lives, and improving the standard of living for their children, families, and communities. This underlines the relevance of the USF programme.
Girls from weak socio-economic backgrounds see varied and multi-layered disadvantages staring at them at every step. Transition from schools to colleges is the biggest challenge and the dropout rate after class X is very high.
Supporting women and gaining social support
The study noted that the USF programme is making inroads into the society, living up to its goal of empowering women. Centres are started with already committed funds and passionate local convenors. The programme has a well-established Human Resource Department and Finance Manual which the management follows to the farthest extent possible.
Changing society with the Shalinis
With Udayan Care’s financial and mentoring support, girls get educational opportunities, better their academic standards and learn to take independent decisions. They increase their self-confidence, self-esteem and aspirations. Shalinis bring a positive change not only to their own lives but to their families and community, which see them with respect, as they have earned the scholarship from USF.
The study found fewer early marriages among Shalinis. Once parents see educational opportunities for their daughters, they stop forcing them to get married.
The years of rigorous mentoring in capacity building through workshops conducted for the Shalinis by USF transforms the lives of the Fellows. The study found that, thanks to USF, the girls turned out as self-independent, self-confident and ready to face their future with their heads held high.
Many Shalinis are first-generation learners and become role models for their communities. In addition to achieving academic excellence, Shalinis have evolved as educated, responsible citizens and take independent decisions.
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