The special schools for tribal girl children have been underway for the past three years in Dumaria Block of East Singhbhum District. It is an excluded zone cut way from the district. It is a tribal block. Santhal tribes predominantly inhabit it. It is a forest zone and the livelihood is depending mostly on the forest resources. Starvation is frequent in this block.
The program was initiated in view of greater discrimination, neglect and exclusion of girl children in government schools. In the tribal society, they always give preference to boys than girls in primary education. Many girls have been engaged in domestic, agricultural and traditional craft activities like leaf plate and rope making and collection of forest produces such as mahuva leaf and seeds, taser culture and other occupations. Further, the government school timings were not matching with their work schedule. In view of it, alternative education for the tribal girl children was initiated and is now continued through 20 special schools. Totally 554 girls got direct benefit through the centers.
Health education with focus on functions of reproductive health organs, the process of menstruation, genital hygiene, conception, pregnancy and reproductive track infections were covered.
Health education led to increased awareness and action. Many children had developed safe health practices.
Center brings about confidence building.. Laksmi Kisku enjoys the learning in the center. Being involved in picking various forest produces , she has been victim of cheating by traders. She used to take forest produces of different types in different seasons. But now she is able to demand correct weights and the right price for her produce. Her confidence has increased after attending the center.