Bhubaneswar-the state capital of Odisha is a home to an ever increasing migrant workforce from the interior pockets of the state looking for employment opportunities. Majority of these men and women land up in the slums and join the unorganized sector ending up as construction workers, municipality sweepers, housemaids etc. The children are often left behind to fend for themselves. Although enrolled to nearby government schools, a majority of these children remain disinterested in studies. Many of them –especially the girl’s dropout and stay back at home to raise their younger siblings and cook for their parents. These young women subsequently end up joining their parents in the unorganized sector and the vicious cycle is repeated. Several houses in the slums are replete with stories of early marriages, death due to early child birth, sexual violence and young mothers deserted by their husbands.
There is an immediate need of intervention to help these girls reach their full potential by providing them the right support, education and resources. These young women must be motivated to spend more time in school and complete their education. They must be sensitised that discontinuing their school to carry out domestic duties, such as caring for younger siblings, cooking and whiling away their time, undermines their opportunities for education and employment.
The overall project goal is to inspire and empower 100 disadvantaged adolescent girls to transform their lives through life skills education, employment and entrepreneurship.
The project objectives are
-Establish an adolescent resource centre with all information and IT equipments to familiarize the girls with technology, use of mails, search engine, internet and basic Microsoft that will come handy for employment.
-Provide right training and support for disadvantaged young women to identify and achieve their personal and professional goals by using inspiring stories and move into sustained employment and access further education or job-based training.
-Create change agents to put their ideas into action and encourage culture of social entrepreneurship among the girls through on ground experiments
“At Cheysta, I learnt to share my opinions”
While gender equality is close in primary education, the parity does not extend to secondary schooling and adolescent girls continue to be debarred from schools and consequently the workforce