Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Though the city is emerging as an education hub in the state, an unsettling fact is that 52 per cent of the women in the district haven’t completed their higher secondary education and 20 per cent are illiterate, according to the National Family and Health Survey 5. The state’s illiteracy figure stands at 38.4 per cent.
THINGS ARE WORSE IN RURAL AREAS
“The number of illiterates in rural areas is much higher when compared to urban areas. I believe that in rural areas at least 90 per cent of women are illiterate and the major reasons are social and gender inequalities. Government facilities have failed to provide right ambience for girls to get an education and also continue with it,” said social worker, Padma Shri Janak Palta McGilligan.
TRIBAL AREAS FARE POORLY
The situation is quite worse in the tribal dominated Jhabua, Alirajpur and Barwani districts of Indore division. Jhabua has 84% of women who haven’t completed their higher secondary, while the figure is 82.7 per cent in Alirajpur and 80.7 per cent in Barwani.
While educationists in the city believe that marriages and family responsibilities are the main reasons for this pathetic condition, social activists say social differences and gender inequality are also reasons why women are still deprived of their education rights.
“I believe that early marriage due to lack of awareness and societal norms is one of the main reasons why most women are unable to complete their education,” said Megha Mathur, a professor at a private college. She feels that while women also have to show initiative and reach educational institutions to complete their education, society also has a major role to play.
Vanchana Singh, a social activist, said some NGOs run special schemes and programmes for those who aspire to study. Awareness camps are being organised by the institutes to motivate the girl child to continue her studies and counselling sessions are being held for the parents so that they understand the need of educating the child.
WCD FOCUSES ON SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Ramniwas Bhudheliya, joint director, Women and Child Development said providing education to women is not their mandate. The department organises camps and workshops to give necessary skills to women so that they can earn a livelihood. The majority of women work as unskilled labourers where education is not a priority.
WOMEN WHO HAVEN’T CLEARED HIGHER SECONDARY EXAM IN DIVISION