Advancement Of Women
1. The Girl Child
The Former Director General of UNESCO said, “We will never achieve any of the Sustainable Development Goals without overcoming the discrimination and poverty that stunt the lives of girls and women from one generation to the next. We must work at all levels, from grassroots to global leaders, to put equity and inclusion at the heart of every policy so that all girls, whatever their circumstances, go to school, stay in school and become empowered citizens.”
Sri Sathya Sai Baba said, “The feminine is the foundation on which a peaceful and happy world is to be raised. When women are true and brave, kind and compassionate, virtuous and pious, the world can have an era of peace and joy.” Baba laid the substratum of His educare mission with a Women’s College in the Anantapur District of the South Indian State of Andhra Pradesh in the year 1968. As the women, so the families; as the families, so the societies; as the societies, so the nations; and as the nations, so the world. Hence, Baba had bestowed the responsibility upon women to transform men and children through the qualities of sympathy, compassion, love, and sacrifice. The great women borne by Mother Earth were models of patience, fortitude, compassion, and sacrifice. Baba desired that women should take up the reins of leadership, and bring peace and prosperity to the nation by leading ideal lives. And this is exactly the reason why girls’ education and opportunities for their emancipation through living their fullest potential, is one of the prime focal points of the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions that is managed by PBT
Academics, cultural activities, music, band, sports, fine arts – name it and there is the vibrancy of the girl power in each of these tracts of talents at the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions. The energy of the tender and the talented girls is highly palpable in these Institutions, because it houses the girls who were previously smothered under the pangs of cruelty and injustice of the society, and its incapacities, leading them to involve in labour that supressed their smiles and their dreams. Most of the girls are from vulnerable communities who had faced harsh realities of life due to poverty, conservative social norms, child labour, poor health, domestic violence…etc. Thus, the once helpless are being groomed into the ever powerful at these Institutions.
2. Education and Training of Women
Globally, 9 in 10 girls complete their primary education, but only 3 in 4 complete their lower secondary education. In low-income countries, less than two thirds of girls complete their primary education today, and only 1 in 3 completes lower secondary school. Low educational attainment for girls has potential negative impacts on a wide range of other development outcomes not only for the girls themselves, but also for their children, families, communities, and societies. It affects the life trajectories of girls in many ways. Those dropping out of school early are more likely to marry or have children early, before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. This may affect their own health.
Thus, Prashanthi Balamandira Trust has taken upon itself the responsibility to uplift girl children and in turn their mothers and their families who have endured a long-drawn period of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion of not being respected for their true potential.
The Trust currently operates 6 Campuses for the girls from Grade 6 till Doctoral studies by offering quality and holistic education completely free of cost. The Campuses also provide various opportunities for the young girls to explore their talent like music and fine arts, dance and theatre, indoor and outdoor sports, adventure sports, girl's music band…etc. Most of these girls are first generation literates in their family and are seeing the types of a modern well-appointed school in their village for the first time. They are making their debut appearance into the portals of a school premises to learn, live and play after breaking a record of decades and semi-centennial periods of familial illiteracy and poverty.
3. Women and Economy
Healthy environments and prosperous economic potential are interdependent and inextricably linked to the social structures that provide for the health, education, and development of the 2.2 billion people under the age of 18 on Earth today. In the least developed countries, children comprise nearly half the overall world population and nearly a quarter (500,000) of these youngsters are adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19. Intergovernmental commitments to the well-being of children are firmly established in both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Thus, education of girl children is an investment for every nation, rather than expenditure. One very endearing and innovative approach to encourage more girls to study is taken by the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions. Every year, during the admission period, the girls students of the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence go door to door in the surrounding villages of each Campus along with faculty, to project the benefits of education to the villagers, by showcasing themselves as learned examples. They talk to the parents in the villages, many of whom are still bogged down by the age-old tradition of not sending girls to study, but rather get them married off at a very early age. Many such girls are freed from the shackles of early marriage and embraced in the Institution. In fact, for some of the very deserving families, jobs are also given to their parents in the various Campuses so that they can lead respectable lives.