Girls Empowerment Training for KGBVs in Maharajganj, Balrampur and Shravasti

Study Hall Educational Foundation, in collaboration with UNICEF, conducted a two day training for the teachers of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas of Maharajganj, Balrampur and Shravasti. Participants were invited in two batches – Maharajganj on 20th and 21st August and Shravasti and Balrampur on the 22nd and 23rd. The training was conducted at Hotel Royal Residency, Gorakhpur and the training hall was done up with a banner and bright posters.

After the registration, the participants were welcomed by the trainers. They were asked to fill a baseline form. Though many wardens had been trained for conducting Meena Manch, none had attended a training concentrating on empowerment. Then, an icebreaker game was played. The participants got to know each other started talking freely. In the first session, the participants were made to understand the need for empowerment and concept of Critical Dialogues was explained. Through the shocking statistics in her presentation, Dr Sahni, President and CEO of the foundation, showed how grim the situation is for underprivileged girls. After this session, the participants got into groups and discussed one major challenge faced by the girls. The groups then shared the gist of their discussion and suggested solutions. The next session dealt with superstitions and rituals that oppress the girls and women. A very lively debate ensured full participation of all the trainees. A video of a critical dialogue session was shown and the trainees understood the need to incorporate drama during the dialogues. The groups were given time to devise a short play based on the problem they had taken up for discussion. They were also provided with material for making a poster based on the theme they had taken for the discussion.

The next morning saw the participants sharing their views with their new friends. CWC members and local NGOs were also invited. While they were registering, the KGBV teachers watched a video about domestic violence and had an intense discussion about it. Then the new participants were introduced to the KGBV teachers through a pair game. After this, there was a brief revision of the Aarohini programme with emphasis on building a supportive network for the girls. Findings of the Vulnerability mapping report were shared to substantiate the need for support. Now it was time for unleashing of the teachers’ creativity. They presented the plays they had prepared. Despite the lack of make up, props or a stage, the plays had an impact and were received very well. The best play and the best poster got prizes. The NGOs and the CWC members had an interactive session with the teachers where they explained the nature and scope of their work and how they could help. The next session was even more enlightening where the participants got to know the important laws relating to the girls, their rights, recent changes and their impact on girls.

The training ended with awarding of certificates and handing over of the Aarohini tool kit, comprising of critical dialogue DVDs, a calendar, posters and printouts from a gender handbook for teachers. Both days, the participants were literally kept on their toes with impromptu question answer sessions using a ball. They also loved the three songs they learnt. All the 52 KGBV teachers and 24 NGO and CWC members were happy with the food and stay arrangements and sincerely appreciated the efforts of the caring and friendly team from Digital Study hall.