IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2017

CONTACT: Olivia Arnold, Girls’ Education Intern | oliviaa.iphd@gmail.com

For the past two months, the 50 girls who are being sponsored by IPHD have been going to school and working hard. In the second week of September, we learned that 19 of our girls were going to be dropped from the government school because they did not have Aadhar Cards (Indian ID cards).

Birth certificates are needed to get Aadhar cards and because the girls were born in the village, they never received birth certificates. The government school teacher told us she could not enroll the girls without official documents proving their Indian citizenship.

Immediately, our education advocates Rukiya and Leela got to work — seeking out the 19 girls, gathering their identifying information and taking them to get birth certificates and Aadhar cards.  The process is very complicated and time-consuming, and after one week of tireless efforts by the education team, 10 girls still did not have their Aadhar cards — with the government enrollment deadline quickly approaching the following week.

On Thursday, September 14, Rukiya, Leela, IPHD Founder and Executive Director Madhu Vaishnav and Girls’ Education intern Olivia Arnold went to the house of Bhikamkor’s Sarpanch (elected leader) with the 10 girls to deliver a letter urging him to immediately issue birth certificates for them. Unfortunately, we were told that the Sarpanch was not home, so all we could do was leave the letter at his home and hope that he would read it.

To our pleasant surprise, the Sarpanch personally called IPHD founder Madhu the very next morning to tell her that he would support our mission to keep the girls in school and sign the birth certificates. We were so relieved and overjoyed!

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Education advocate Rukiya helping the last few girls receive their Aadhar cards.

Again, our education advocates Rukiya and Leela immediately began doing all the hard work: getting the girls’ birth certificates filled out, bringing them to the Sarpanch to sign and then bringing the girls to get Aadhar cards.

On Wednesday, September 20, less than one week after our original plea to the Sarpanch, Rukiya and Leela were able to get Aadhar cards for all of the remaining 10 girls.

All of our 50 girls will now be officially enrolled and are no longer at risk of getting dropped from the school. IPHD would like to extend a big thank you to the Sarpanch for joining our mission in support of girls’ education.

 

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