INDIA: School recognized for giving girls opportunities
Don Bosco Mirik High School provides financial assistance to girls from challenging economic situations so they can attend school
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Mirik High School, located in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India, has been recognized by the Government of West Bengal Women and Child Development & Social Welfare Department for the implementation of the Kanyashree Prakalpa Scheme. The Kanyashree Prakalpa Scheme provides financial assistance to girls between the ages of 13-18 from challenging economic situations so they are able to pursue higher education. It also helps prevent early marriage. The program has received international recognition from the United Nations Department for International Development and UNICEF.
Don Bosco Mirik, the first private school in the Darjeeling district to implement this program, has been managing it since 2017. Since then, 120 girls have enrolled. The young women are able to participate in numerous district events such as cultural programs, quizzes, social activities and cleaning campaigns.
The program also provides an annual scholarship of 700 rupees and a one-time grant of 25,000 rupees to girls who, at the age of 18, are engaged in an academic or professional activity and are not married. Lawrence Lepcha, a teacher involved in the program, said, “This program has given young women a chance to explore their studies, and as a result, many of them go on to higher education.”
Don Bosco Mirik High School, which is part of the West Bengal secondary school education system, welcomes both girls and boys. Founded in 2005, the school caters especially to children from the tea plantations in the Mirik Valley, Darjeeling district.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India, especially young women. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
More than 22 percent of India’s population lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
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Salesian Missions – India
World Bank – India