Hundreds of adolescent girls who convened at a convention on ‘Freedom for Girls’ said in unison that free public transportation systems in villages have to improve and government educational institutions have to be established to end gender discrimination and to assert equality.
More than 100 girl students between the age groups of 15 and 18 years, from Gadwal, Vikarabad, Rangareddy, Hyderabad, Suryapet, attended the convention organised by M Venkatarangaiya Foundation at Sundaraiah Vignana Kendra, Baghlingampally, on Sunday.
The Foundation has formed collectives of girl students in villages where they try to resolve issues such as eve-teasing, lack of facilities to access education. National convener of the Foundation R Venkat Reddy said that when they held focus group discussion with girls who dropped out of education, and those who are facing difficulties while pursuing education, they pointed out lack of government educational institutions in the villages.
“They also said that when girls reach 18 years of age, parents get them married with the assistance of incentives under ‘Kalyana Lakshmi’ scheme, which deters girls from pursuing higher education. They instead want money to be offered for their higher education. Besides this, they also want gender equality classes to be included right from primary school,” Mr Venkat Reddy said.
Other suggestions to fight gender discrimination and assert equality includes nutritional support and midday meal programme at all stages of education, regular health check-ups, accountability of all departments concerned such as Women and Child Welfare Department, Labour Department, Education, Police, Revenue departments.
The convention was attended by Rani Rudhramma Reddy, working president of Yuva Telangana Party, Sumitra, director of Ankuram, and others.