In Uttarakhand, girls are traveling far from their villages to pursue further study.
The desire to be educated, and pursue dreams beyond the confines of domestic village life, is what spurs families to send their girls to colleges located far away from Gairsen, their village.
India is a country with shamefully low literacy rates – particularly amongst girls and in rural areas. According to the most recent census, the overall literacy rate of Uttarakhand is 71.6% - which is good as opposed to the national average, which is 65.38%. Not so good is the alarmingly large gap between men and women in the state; 83.3% of men are literate compared with just 59.6% of women. These statistics make Luxmi’s story ever more pertinent. If we are to better these figures the onus is on families , like those in Luxmi’s village, to recognize the transformative power of education for girl’s.
Luxmi is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication in a town over two hours from her village. She is one of the many girls who travel far from their homes in order to ensure they have the necessary qualifications to compete in the competitive Indian job market. Luxmi says, ‘after completing their studies most girls stay back in the towns where they completed their education and take up a diverse range of jobs. A few return to our village and usually work in government positions – they are teachers and administrators mostly’.
This desire to educate girls marks a seismic shift from the age-old adage that girls should be confined to the world of pots, pans and child rearing. Luxmi’s village in the hills of Garwal sets a modest example and takes yet another progressive step in the right direct
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