Project Name: Gramya Tribal Girls School
Annual Report: January 1st 2008 to December 31st 2008.
Project Numbe r: 02-02-00-314/02-02-00-354 (In150711)
Programme Office r: Karin de Graaf
According to the State of the World’s Children 2004: Girls Education and Development
(UNICEF Report) 121 million children around the world among them 65 million girls
continue to be out of school. The report highlights that girls are particularly vulnerable to
poverty and hunger and are at greater risk than boys from HIV/AIDS, Sexual
Exploitation and child trafficking. The report reiterates that education leads to more
equitable development, stronger families, better services and better child health. Women
who have been to school are less likely to die during child birth. “The effect of schooling
on reducing the number of births means that for every 1000 women, every additional year
of education will prevent two maternal deaths”. The report explains that children of
educated women are much more likely to school: the more schooling the women receive,
the more probable it is that their children will also benefit from education. The recent
study backs up the research by stating that the skills girls acquired at school not only
resulted in improved health outcomes for themselves and their children but also
eventually, for their grandchildren.
While the ratio of girls’ gross enrollment rate in developing countries has increased from
0.86 to 0.92, yet the primary school completion rate for girls lags way behind that of boys
at 76% compared with 85%.
In India, today 98% of the rural population has access to primary schools within a
kilometer of their habitation. Since independence, at upper primary level, enrollment
increased from 2.6 million boys and 0.5 million girls to 28.5 million boys and 22.7,
million girls. While these figures are commendable it is well known that dalit and tribal
children continue to face discrimination in access to education. It should be noted that the
Lambada community which lives in small hamlets called Thandas away from mainstream
villages suffer due to lack of access and extreme poverty. As per the 1991 census the
literacy rate among ST community was as low as 17.16%. While this has improved over
the years, the community lags behind in literacy. In the project area of Chandam Pet
mandal, Nalgonda district, literacy rate among women in the Lambada community is less
Policy Frame work
The Constitution of India provides for affirmative action to develop vulnerable sections
of society. As such the Constitution guarantees prohibition of discrimination on grounds
of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth - (1) The State shall not discriminate against
any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
Due to consistent efforts by Civil Society Organizations the government of India
developed an inclusive education policy titled “Education for All” in 1986. This was
modified in 1992 and again in 2001. In spite of many initiatives taken by the government
we find that families living in poverty do not avail of the school services which are
available. Particularly among the Lambada community, discrimination against the girl
child has been increasing due to the skewed development paradigm. Boys are provided
education in English medium schools (paid for by parents) while girls are sent out to
work in cotton fields.
Gramya’s Past Efforts
Gramya’s work in this region started with interventions to stop female infanticide and
sale of girl babies. In the last 10 years it has undertaken following activities.
Campaign to stop female infanticide and sale of girl babies for international
adoption through community mobilization
Successful advocacy and lobby with state government
Identification of out of school children including girls
Demand for local schools from the state government
Interim schools started with support from CRY handed over to state government
Setting up bridge-school for girls (on going)
Link to welfare hostels and enroll bridge school girls into government social
Need for continuous support to girls and counseling of family members
Up scaling to promote women and girl child rights in collaboration with state
government, SERP Programme
Annual report for the Period January 1 st 2008 to December 31st 2008
The enrolment of Gramya bridge school has been growing steadily because the schools
reputation has reached remote villages in the area through the students who are with us.
The school year started with an enrolment of 135 residents in the hostel.
Students enrolled in college
Of these 8 girls are enrolled in college. Of these 2 are enrolled in the 1 st year
Intermediate and four are enrolled in the second year. Two girls, Latha and Sharada are in
the process of completing their health training. They are also employed part time and
contributing a small amount towards their upkeep. One girl Shanthi is studying at a
private college because she has chosen to study sciences. These subjects are not taught in
the government Junior college in Devarkonda. The Other Five students are studying at
the government junior college. All these girls are receiving a scholarship of Rs 2000 per
year which is paid in three installments. Gramya has paid the exam fee for all the
students. They have used their scholarship amount for buying clothes so that their
families are not burdened.
We started applying for seats for girls in government residential schools from January
onwards. The children enrolled in the School on January 1 st 2008 are as follows.
Children enrolled in School on January 1 st 2008
1st year Intermediate 2
2nd year Intermediate 4
Nursing Training 2
Learning Vocational skill 1
Class 10 Supplementary 6
Class 10 9
Class 9 9
Class 8 13
Class 7 9
Class 6 4
Class 5 6
Class 4 10
Class 3 9
Class 2 25
Class 1 26
The Mandal Education Officer Mr Ram Reddy visited the school since he was assessing
the need for text books in the region. He suggested that we could apply for text books but
would have to pay for them at the beginning of the school year.
Republic Day was celebrated on 26 th January. Board members of Gramya, Ms Shanti
Rao, Dr Suhasini and Dr Rukmini Rao joined the celebrations. Children participated in
games and received prizes. A drawing competition was organized and prizes distributed.
After the celebrations, Class 10 students spent time with Ms Shanti Rao (who is a retired
teacher from Bombay) who provided inputs on how to prepare for class 10 examinations.
She gave the students tips on how to plan study, revisions etc. girls from class 1 to 7 were
provided School Uniform skirts.
Dr Suhasini provided inputs on nutrition and healthy eating habits. Ms Shanti and Dr
Suhasini visited Katta Komma thanda to see the two baby girls who were rescued by
Gramya and were being nutrious food to help them survive. We also counseled parents to
take care of the babies.
In January we also followed up on the educational status of the two girls enrolled for
ANM training. The institution in Nalgonda was found to be be low standard and the girls
failed their exams. The girls are now rewriting their exams.
The girls enrolled in High school were given their report cards and Gramya teachers
attended the Parent –Teacher meeting. The school requested all parents to help their
children to study better.
In house we conducted half yearly exams for children from class 1 to 7.
Shanthi enrolled in Science course was provided, materials to write her practical exams.
In February, one of the girls studying nursing was ve ry depressed due to emotional
disturbance. She was counseled by Dr Rukmini Rao and is happy and well adjusted now.
All the girls in class 9 at the bridge school were recognized as excellent in sports and
were given special coaching in the government school. A special fee of Rs 10 each was
paid on their behalf.
We followed up on availability of seats in government hostels at Nalgonda which is the
district headquarter. We met the Alternative School Coordinator, District Primary
Education Programme, Mr Manohar. He promised to visit the hostel and inspect the
premises and teaching.
Ms Pramila, Coordinator, Gramya, participated in the Child Rights Conference organized
by the Government of India and UNICEF at Bangalore. The conference examined how to
promote child rights and prevent child sexual abuse. In preparation for this consultation,
a meeting was organised with the children at Gramya to ensure their voices were heard.
The girls discussed their previous status and how it had improved. Particularly two girls
who had worked as bonded labour shared their happiness to be studying and completing
high school. They also worked out strategies on how to deal with violence and
harassment on the street.
On 28th February Dr Tony Stewart a friend of Gramya visited the school and spent time
with the children.
We applied for admission to college for staff nurse training at Ibrahimpatnam for Ms
Shanthi who had yet to write her exams. Annual exams started for the girls in
Class 10 children started writing their exams. They were all provided geometry boxes and
exam materials such as writing pads etc. At the bridge school the children were given
their third unit test. Ms Sumalatha School in-charge coached the girls in class 10 on how
to write the exams, how to write the exam to ensure answering all questions etc. All the
children had their height and weight recorded.
Six girls took their supplementary exams in Mallepally village.
Five students wrote supplementary exams of which three completed their course.
Of the two students who failed one failed in English and the second in Chemistry. Both
are continuing their education and writing supplementary exams.. Kausalya who wanted
to pursue vocational training was linked to Ambara a shop which not only teaches
embroidery free of charge but is willing to provide material and buy back all the
embroidery. Kausalya continues with her training. Two festivals including the Telugu
New year were celebrated at the school. Two girls who were unwell were treated by
private doctors. Both of them are fully recovered.
We read reports in the local newspaper that a lambadi baby boy who was eleven months
old was starving because his mother was killed due to electrocution near her home.
Gramya staff visited Pandiri Gutta thanda and assessed the family situation. We decided
that the baby, Akhil, needed formula milk since there were no buffaloes or cows in the
village. The child’s aunt was trained to clean the milk bottles and prepare the milk.
Subsequently the child is also being supplementary nutrition and is healthy.
Children from class 1 to 7 wrote their exams and their progress was recorded. The
progress reports are being shared with the parents. Girls in class 8 and 9 completed their
The government high school exam results were declared. Out of the 14 girls who wrote
their exams 7 completed their high school successfully. Most of the girls could not pass
their English exam (6). Two of the girls also failed in their Maths exam. This was inspite
of supplementary teaching for maths. We paid the supplementary fees for the girls to
rewrite their exams. Currently one girl has got a job as a home guard and has shifted to
Hyderabad. Two were married quietly by their families though they have not reached the
legal age of marriage. One of the girls is continuing her college education after marriage.
The three girls who failed their exams, Sharada, Sheela and Lakshmi are staying at home
and helping their families with agriculture.
Children from class 1 to 7 had their annual assessments and report cards prepared..
Ninety children went home for summer vacation. Children whose parents were migrant
workers continued to live in the hostel.
Gramya organised an awareness programme for adolescent girls on their human rights,
health care and right to education on June 3rd. This programme was part of Gramya’s
initiative to promote a district level network, the Stree Shakthi Telangana Network
comprising six voluntary organizations in Khammam district
At the beginning of the school year Gramya teachers recalled all the students who were
away by visiting the villages. We supported the government efforts to increase enrolment
of primary school children. Gramya students participated in the “Badi Bata” back to
school programme. The children organized a rally in Devarkonda. The programme was
attended by Mandal Education Officer and the Member of the Legislative Assembly Mr
Ravindra Naik. The Devarkonda Sarpanch Sri A Narasimha also participated in the
It was agreed to enroll all out of school children in the primary schools. The district
Tribal Welfare Officer, M Vijaya and Mr Manohar DPEP, visited the school. They
promised to provide hostel seats to girls who were enrolled in college.
Dr Rukmini Rao met the District Collector, Nalgonda and requested him to provide
residential facilities to all the children in the Gramya bridge school. She also requested
for allocation of government land to build a school to cater to the most backward villages
in the region.
During the year Gramya had carried out a survey of thirty thandas (with financial support
from India Health Foundation) and identified out of school children. The school team
agreed to bring identified children back to school.
We prepared to send our girls to government residential schools. Five suitable schools
were identified. Since the district Collector was supportive of Gramya all the officers
were helpful to process the applications. Gramya team visited all the hostels and met the
school Principals. The Principals were apprised of the conditions of the girls’ families to
ensure special care. The Principal from Neredagumma visited Gramya and talked to the
students. We enrolled 35 girls in the bridge school in the month of June. Dr Rukmini Rao
spent time with the children. It was found that 28 children came from the surveyed
villages and seven followed their friends.
At June end we enrolled Venkatamma in the Government Degree College at Devarkonda.
We have assessed that the teachers at the bridge school also have difficulty with learning
and teaching English. To help the teachers overcome this handicap a range of English
language books were purchased for the library. Dr Rukmini Rao is encouraging the
teachers to help each other and learn English. Though we have tried hard to find a tutor to
teach English, we have not been successful. This year efforts will be made to overcome
It was also found that some of the college girls who grew up in the bridge school were
challenging the teacher’s authority which caused disturbance in the school. Outstanding
issues were discussed separately and together with the students and teachers and
agreement reached on managing the school in a responsible and democratic way.
The school is preparing to mainstream the majority of the students into the government
Caste composition of the childre n
ST – 86
SC – 28
BC – 21
The children have come from 11 mandals in the district. One girl is from Mehaboob
The un-audited statement of accounts for the year January 01st 2008 – December 31st
2008 is annexed. We need to revise the budget keeping in view the spurt in food prices.
Since the cost of living has increased and annual inflation is running at 12+ percent
teachers salaries also need to be revised. However, we will not require any additional
funds for the year since 90% of the students will be mainstreamed and new students will
be enrolled. This gap period in enrollment and exchange rate gains will help us to stay
with in budgets.
In the month of July admissions of the school children were organized into the
mainstream Social Welfare Hostel system of the Government of AP. Twenty girls from
class nine and ten were admitted into the NarayanPuram Kasturba Gandhi Balikala
Vidyalayam (KGBV). We also provided buckets and glasses to the children. The children
carried their own plates. We provided the materials because the government system is
slow to respond. School notebooks were also provided to each girl. We followed up with
the government staff and the material was given to the girls after one month.
Ms M Vijaya, District Tribal Welfare Officer visited the school. She verified the Gramya
school enrollment and subsequently 39 girls were enrolled in Neredigomma KGBV. The
girls were enrolled in Class 3, 4, and 5.
Girls from class 6 and 7 were sent to KGBV School at Devarkonda. Seven girls were
We requested Sri Ramulu Assistant Tribal Welfare Officer for Hostel facilities for
another 12 girls. He agreed to take them in when the new girls’ hostel opened in
Chandampet. This was followed up and the girls mainstreamed in August.
R Jyothi who had completed her High school with us was taken away by her parents to
study in college. However after completing the first year of intermediate studies in a
private college they found it difficult to support her financially. They wanted to stop her
education. Gramya teachers counseled the parents and now she is enrolled in a
government college at Nalgonda. Altogether 4 Lambadi tribal girls and two dalit girls
were enrolled in college. We provided uniforms for the girls since the college requires it.
The girls were also provided with note books.
We provided Rs 1000, to Ms Shanthi to enroll her in Staff Nurse Training College in
Miryalaguda. She joined the course after one month because senior students were
completing their programme. She has visited us in December and January during her
holidays and is happy and able to cope with her work.
The principal of the Neredigomma School asked us to provide proof of girl’s identity as
tribals .We gathered their parent’s ration cards and made photo identities available to the
The girls sent to the Narayanpuram hostel found it very difficult to adjust in the new
school. They were homesick for Gramya and were calling the teachers everyday and
threatening to run away etc. We were in regular touch with the school and the children.
After a month the girls have settled into the school and are well adjusted now.
The girls at Deverkonda hostel visited the school when they had a day holiday.
Twenty five new girls were enrolled in the Gramya School.
As planned twelve girls were sent to Chandampet KGBV hostel. They went into class 6,
class7 and 8. One girl each was enrolled in class 6 and class 7 while 10 girls went to class
8th . We received a Gramya friend, Ms Dallass Musselman from the United States. She
was accompanied by Gramya Board member Ms Shanthi. They spent time with the
students in school and shared experiences of schooling in the US and in India. The
children sang many songs for Dallas and she sang for them. Note books were provided to
the children who had joined by then.
Ms Sumalatha our senior staff member had identified a vulnerable girl in Warangal
district during the course of her field work. Sukanya who is 16 years old (and had failed
her class 10 exam) was living in a vulnerable situation. Her father is alcoholic and abused
her mother physically. She had intervened on one occasion and he had attacked her and
bitten her all over. Sukanya in depression wanted to commit suicide. One of her
neighbors alerted Gramya and Sumalatha intervened in the matter. Sukanya was
counseled and her mother consulted on how she could be helped. It was agreed that
Gramya would support Sukanya’s education. She moved to Devarkonda school in
September and is preparing to rewrite her class 10 exams. She is also now enrolled in a
government training centre which provides Tailoring training. Rukmini is also trying to
link her up to a shop in Hyderabad so that she can earn some cash income.
We followed up on the status of the six college students enrolled in Nalgonda. They have
settled into the college routine. One of the girls R Indraja faced problems beca use the
hostel warden threatened to throw her out since her parents had not provided the income
and caste certificate. Indraja sent an SOS to Gramya and the teachers visited the hostel
and negotiated one weeks’ time to collect her certificates. This was agreed to by the
warden and subsequently we organized the papers for her. We stood guarantee on her
behalf since the family did not have a ration card due to bureaucratic bungling.
Teacher Sunitha brought Kausalya who had started training in Embroidery to
Hyderabad. She has to collect the materials from Ambara shop promoting traditional
embroidery. Kausalya is a shy girl who lacks self confidence to express herself. She is
controlled by her brothers who have extreme patriarchal attitudes. However she is slowly
gaining confidence to deal with the world. She is also now enrolled in the government
training centre. We plan to support her to buy her own sewing machine.
One of the girls Bichani who is nine years old created a shock for the school because she
swallowed a set of keys. She was rushed to Hyderabad at night and with the help of
medical friends she was examined and X- rayed. Since the keys were located in her lower
intestines the doctors advised giving her big meals and a laxative. She stayed with
Rukmini in Hyderabad and after treatment for two days was given a clean chit. Her
parents were also informed of the incident and they came to Hyderabad. Dr Nasreen
Masood who is a friend to Gramya assisted the whole process of referring her to the
Asian Institute of Gastro Enterlogy and made sure she had the best care possible. At the
end of the episode Bichani was given a chocolate hamper by Dr Nasreen Masood. The
chocolates were shared with the whole school.
Independence Day was celebrated on 15th August. Flag hoisting was followed by games
and drawing competition. All the children were given prizes.
We had to dismiss one teacher Ms Neeraja because she was undisciplined and was
quarreling with several teachers. In spite of repeated warnings to change her behaviour
she did not respond and was asked to leave the school. Sunitha another teacher has found
a job as a hindi teacher which pays a good salary. Being a Lambadi woman who is a
survivor of violence we have encouraged her to move on in life. However since she is a
single women she requested that she would continue to live in Gramya premises. This
was agreed to. Since we need a person with a link language the current arrangement has
mutual benefit. Madhavi another teacher fell ill with typhoid. She was given leave and
full medical support. She has recovered and returned to school now.
In September enrollment of new girls was completed. While we take in girls at any time
of the year this year special efforts were made to bring in girls identified through our
survey completed in 10 panchayats of Devarkonda mandal. School text books and note
books were provided to all the children. Each year we make efforts to ask the government
to provide books. This year the Mandal Education Officer refused to give us books on the
plea that government supplies were not available to meet the requirements in the district.
We ensured that the 22 girls enrolled in Narayanpuram hostel received all their papers
such as school transfer certificates and Date of birth certificates. The papers were
obtained from the government girls high school at Devarkonda and handed over to the
school authorities at the new hostel.
One student Ms Kavitha who was studying at the Dindi hostel had failed her exams in
class 10. She came to Gramya for support. We have allowed her to stay at the school to
prepare for the class 10 supplementary exam. Her examination fee has been paid at Dindi.
At present she is also learning sewing. She was not able to join computer training due to
lack of capacity. We hope she can gain this additional skill in the future.
Five girls, Sukanya, Kalpana, Padma Roja and Mamta were dropouts from school in
Warangal district. While the girls were willing and wanted to continue with their
education the parents refused on the grounds that they did not have the financial means.
Two of the girls, Kalpana and Padma were enrolled in Chandampet hostel and the other
three are now living at our hostel. Roja and Mamtha are in class three and Sukanya will
rewrite her class 10 exams. Three girls, Bharathi, Santosha and Premalatha will be
writing their intermediate exams and their fee has been paid. Swathi’s mother has paid
The Nalgonda district administration had announced in the newspapers that a nine month
Computer course was available to dropout students at a small fee of Rs 500 per student.
We approached the Mandal Development officer and negotiated that our students could
join these classes. At present five girls are enrolled in the course. We hope to get better
results this time because our efforts in a private institute failed earlier. The government
department has promised to try for placements. Government officials are also following
up on learning outcomes.
Maheshwari an eleven year old girl had been used by her family to look after a younger
child since she has lost her father. Her sister who was earlier with us is now enrolled in
the government system. We have now persuaded her mother to send her to school and she
is now enrolled with us. She suffered from an excessive growth of flesh under her tongue.
She was referred to a private Specialist at Devarkonda who has performed a minor
surgery and she is healthy now. Another student Vekattama was also ill with typhoid
(which she contracted during a home visit) and was treated by a private doctor. She has
fully recovered now.
Since the students were mainly new entrants we found that many of them were
undernourished reflecting the poverty conditions in which they lived. To improve their
health nutritious supplement was introduced as a evening snack.
A unit test was organized for all the children and their progress monitored.
We appointed a new teacher Ms Hyma who is an older woman (older than other
teachers) to help with the administration and also teach. During Rukmini’s visit to the
school we had detailed discussions with the older girls about their responsibilities
towards the school. They agreed to help out with managing the younger children.
Santosha and Venkattama were offered an honorarium of Rs 500 each. They are now
performing their duties. The financial support helps the girls to continue with their
education and take care of basic necessities without burdening their families. We are also
doing this to demonstrate to the local communities that education helps girls to become
Quarterly exams were held for the children and progress reports were prepared. Children
were also monitored for their height and weight. Children went home for 5 days for the
Dashera festival which is a culturally important festival in the region. Sukanya from
Warangal district was accompanied by a teacher on her journey home. Deepavali festival
which is the festival of lights was celebrated at the hostel.
Shanthi who was enrolled in the Miryalguda college was escorted to the college when it
opened in October. The college/hostel has a system of photographing guardians to ensure
safety. Premlatha a teenager had a cyst in her breast which was treated and she is well
Special efforts were made to recruit girls who were earlier identified through our
surveys. We were able to bring in the following girls:
Haliya village: Mandal Haliya : two girls
Mallepally village: Devarkonda Mandal: three girls
Vaderakunta Thanda: Mandal Devarkonda: eight
A total of thirteen girls were enrolled during the month.
The visit of Franny and Henk Blom were planned. The hostels and schools they planned
to visit were identified and informed of the visit. Permission was sought from the school
On 24th November the visitors came to the Gramya School at Devarkonda. They spent the
day at the school talking to all the girls in different groups. They spoke to the older gir ls
separately and interacted with all the children. The children shared their school work and
sang songs. Franny and Henk also met three women Suvi, Bujji and Saali who are
supported by Gramya. All the three women were forced by their husbands to give away
their girl babies. Gramya intervened in the matter and supported the mothers to retain
their children. We supported them to buy milk and baby food when no milk was available
locally. The families were supported with food aid and medicines when necessary.
Franny and Henk had detailed discussions with the women to understand their situation.
On the 25th the team visited Parvatha giri Mandal in Warangal district to understand the
wider context in which Gramya works. They met 80 women leaders and single women
who were widowed due to alcoholism. The women shared their life stories. The group are
part of Gramya’s efforts to outreach Lambada women in distress through the government
programme. (Detailed report about this will be made available in a couple of months. The
programme is supported by the government of AP)
On 26th we visited Narayanpuram hostel and interacted with Gramya students and others.
The school cum hostel is a new one. From Narayanpuram we went to Chandampet hostel
and met our girl students. We also had an opportunity to interact with the local school
and political leaders. We also found out that two girls had dropped out, one because her
father passed away due to a snake bite and the second because she was unwell. Gramya
staff subsequently followed up with them and both the girls are back in school now.
The school made special efforts in November to create learning material. This was used
to decorate the walls of the school.
A meeting was planned to interact with parents. Gramya believes that we need to orient
both the parents on the importance of education and to find out from them about the
socio-economic problems they are facing to support girls education.
Fresh duties were set for all the teachers to continue with hostel follow up. The teachers
will visit the five hostels where Gramya students are enrolled. Visits are planned for
alternate weekends when the children are available at the hostels.A set of library books
were provided to the Narayanpuram hostel.
Three children from Korrum Thanda were enrolled in school. However the three girls
decided to return home. Gramya followed up with the families and have brought back the
children. Another girl, Rani who is eight years old was enrolled from Lakshmi nayak
thanda, Chinthapalli mandal . The mother had committed suicide because Rani’s father
is an alcoholic. Two other younger children are now looked after by their aunt.
School visits were planned for the 23 rd but could not take place because Rukmini;s car
met with an accident. The visits were postponed.
Half yearly exams were conducted for the children and their progress reports shared with
the parents. Older children also taught younger children new songs and Madhavi Teacher
taught them dancing. The students and teachers also accepted an invitation from TV9
station for reports on progressive youth and sent four stories to them.
The Gramya team was happy because we were able to mainstream a large number of girls
into the government system. The girls are well adjusted and no one has dropped out due
to the regular follow up .We find that the children who have come in are unhealthy due to
poor nutrition and are trying to address this by providing some supplementary food. We
also find that parents want to take children home for cultural events such as Jatra’s
(village fairs with religious connotations) which disrupts their learning cycle. The parent-
teacher meeting was organized to discuss such situations. At present fresh children are
enrolled as follows: Pre school 30,( children up to age 9 are also enrolled in this section
as per their abilities.) They will be moved up as their competencies improve. class1-15,
Class 2-9, class3-4 children. Class 4-1. At present a total of 59 girls are enrolled in he
primary section. Two girls are preparing to rewrite their class 10 exams . Four girls are in
intermediate college. Two girls are enrolled in Undergraduate college. One girl each are
learning tailoring and computer skills.5. Ten girls are preparing for higher studies. Two
girls who are working and need a safe place to stay continue with us for the moment.
They are contributing Rs 200 per month as a donation. We are encouraging them to find
an independent accommodation for themselves. One young woman Ms Rameshwari who
is 18 years old from Thatikole village in Devarkonda mandal has been provided
accommodation with us. She is physically challenged and is unable to use both her legs
due to polio. She is enrolled in MKR Degree college. The village is 10 kms from the
college and Rameshwari was finding it difficult to commute to college Her mother was
refusing to send her. Venkattama one of our students has been helping her. She brought
the problem to our notice and we agreed to house her. We are also exploring the
possibility to get her a tricycle which she can use to travel around. All the children in the
school support Rameshwari with affection.
The team of teachers are continuing with their education. Sumalatha has completed her
B.Sc in mathematics and plans to continue, Madhavi is struggling to complete her
graduate degree, Srilatha is completing her Masters programme and Lalitha is taking a
break. Srilakshmi has completed her graduate degree and plans to pursue her Masters
programme. The three cooks continue to work with us along with Mr Ashok who
provides us administrative support.
The school has served as a center based on which Gramya has continued its outreach
activities to promote girl child rights. While we were able to successfully stop the sale of
girl babies in our area, newspapers continue to report abandonment of Lambada girl
babies in different districts. Based on the newspaper accounts, Dr. Rukmini Rao took up
a discussion with SERP, Department of Rural Development to work with the Lambada
women organized into SHGs to provide protection to girls and new born babies.
Currently Gramya is supporting women SHG leaders in four districts to review the
conditions of Lambada and other women living below the poverty line. Gramya staff
work with teams of women and undertake following activities.
Prevent infanticide by counseling vulnerable families with large number of girls
and counsel them to send all girls to school – help to enroll girls in schools and
social welfare hostels
Enroll out of school boys
Train women leader as Social Action Committees which will act to prevent
Prevent child marriages
Ensure functioning of ICDS centers for pre-school children
Support district samakyas (women’s organizations) to prevent violence against
Prevent child labor
Support women if they want to undergo Tubectomy
Counsel alcoholic men
Undertake campaigns to prevent alcoholism
Provide information on employment guarantee programme (NREGA)
This programme has increased the out reach of Gramya and we have enrolled girls in
school in Warangal district. Older girls were also enrolled in colleges.
Gramya is following up children we have enrolled in the government social welfare
system. It was found that the children do not have access to any reading mate rial apart
from their school text books. Gramya has been providing the hostel’s with fiction and
non fiction books for their libraries.
During the next year in addition to running the school, we propose to undertake
interventions to improve primary school education. Gramya plans to raise funds for this
from Aide et Action.
The government of Andhra Pradesh Department of Women and Child Welfare have acted
on their own initiative to prevent female infanticide by providing cradles in government
primary health centers so that “unwanted” babies can be given away. This has acted as an
inducement to poor families to get rid of their girl babies. Women are pressurized
tremendously by their husbands to leave their babies. In the last few months more than 30
girls have been given away demonstrating increased bias against the girl child. This
problem needs to be addressed urgently. During the next project period Gramya will
address this issue by creating awareness among political leaders in the community and
working out strategies in collaboration with the women's organizations in the area.
Report Prepared by
P Sri Latha
P Sri Laxmi
Dr V Rukmini Rao
(Statement of Accounts Annexed)