Courtesy 'Kanyashree', girl students' dropout rates fall in Purulia
"Thanks to Kanyashree", say teachers and principals of Purulia schools who are overjoyed to see a massive increase in the number of girl students in schools after the implementation of the scheme, resulting in lesser dropouts.
In one of the schools in Purulia, Jhalda Girls' Higher Secondary School, principal Shukla Banerjee says she saw a rise of at least a thousand students in just a few years' time. "I have been attached with this school from March 2000 and I can say this with conviction that such an overwhelming rise in the number of students is really unique." On asking what might be the possible cause behind it, Banerjee in an obvious tone said: "Kanyashree of course. It is not only about the money that they get. It is also about the way their character gets built by indulging in the clubs run under the scheme. I would say Kanyashree does not only provide money, it empowers a girl and makes her strong to go against all odds."
On asking about the Kanyashree clubs and how they function, District Magistrate, Purulia, Alokesh Prasad Roy said: "There are 173 clubs in Purulia that are run by girl students who visit the interiors of the district and help us in bringing more girls under its umbrella. They convince parents of girls to send them to schools and talk of the benefits of education."
"Even a few years ago my school had around 1,200 students and now the number has crossed 2,500," said Shukla Banerjee, fondly called "Bordi" (elder sister) by the students. It was learnt that the students often take out rallies and talk about the scheme and also about the benefits of education. But behind all this is one thing that is constantly boosting the morale of the students who a few years ago had lost hope in studies and had compromised with the fact that they have no other option than marriage — and that's Kanyashree Scheme.
Teachers of the district say after the students were made self-sufficient, their concentration on studies have increased too.
"My students have literally started asking me counter questions which I welcome as it is only through two-way communication that a student can learn," said Mala Gorai, a teacher in a primary school.
It is also important to mention that the Mamata Banerjee government has made conditions better for a lot of NGOs and bodies like the UNICEF to steer her Kanyashree scheme that recently bagged an award for its success in The Netherlands.
"We would like to thank the NGOs and specially UNICEF for their help and a definite thanks to our beloved Didi (Mamata Banerjee) without whose guidance we wouldn't have been able to understand our worth," said Sreya Banerjee, a Class XII student of Jhalda Girls' Higher Secondary School.