During visits to the Libraries, it was observed that the mothers of most of the children are illiterate or dropped out of school for one or the other reason. This prompted us to conduct a survey in the nearby areas (Gejha village specifically) to understand the gravity of the issue. A questionnaire was constructed with relevant questions and the data was collected from around 250 women. It took nearly 2 months to complete the survey as many respondents were working and were not available for the response. To our surprise, about 120 women expressed their interest in continuing education. This motivated BFA to initiate the program for women literacy, SANKALP.
Literacy training is critical for empowering women by allowing them to pursue alternative forms of income such as owning a shop or starting a farm. Being literate adds value to them even as a domestic help. It would help women to understand the progress of their children at school and participate actively in the same.
After much deliberation and consent from the participant women, suitable days and time were decided. The literacy centre operates on alternate days starting 2pm for one and a half hour. The classes are conducted by a qualified teacher. No fee is charged from the participants for admission or supplying any resources. Numeracy and literacy resources are made accessible to them free of cost. BFA has planned to conduct sessions and expert talks on the topics like nutrition and health, financial literacy etc.
Class size is limited to 15 students. For further enrolment, new batches are proposed as per the convenience of both mentor and mentee. The literacy centre is run post school hours in a room provided by the school in our vicinity. We have delimited our population to the absolutely illiterate women only. Currently, 11 women have enrolled with us. We are expecting the number to increase in the next few months.