Ashita and Anish Nath left their comfortable jobs in the national capital and moved to a farm in Unnao village, Uttar Pradesh which is about 22 km from Lucknow, their hometown. They wanted to make a difference in people’s lives as opposed to just making money. They have two very young children who live with them on a farm in Unnao. They came to the farm like any other city dweller wanting to make a change and hoping to help farmers in distress but were very surprised to find that Indian agriculture faces greater issues.
They found that in spite of the fact that Unnao had a lot of youngsters, the village was unable to benefit from this demographic advantage. Girls were not sent to school in order to help with household chores or to take care of their siblings. This is not very different from the gender discrimination seen in many parts of our country. Girls and women in India not only fight a battle against gender bias, discrimination, lost opportunities etc., but also against mindsets which curtail their movements and harm their well-being. They found themselves on a cusp where they could not ignore this anymore.
No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank
Education is the key
Asista believes that more than loans or start-up grants the village needs a better education system. She has been teaching for over a decade and understands child psychology better. She believes that education alone has the power to break the cycle of gender discrimination and give hope to the girls for the future along with empowering these youngsters by making more opportunities available to them and making the process of learning enjoyable as opposed to being tedious.
Different strategies in villages
Girls in villages need a different vision for themselves. A school in a village should give exceptional educational facilities, comfortable learning atmosphere for the less fortunate along with the opportunity to grow up without social pressure. While these young girls seek empathy with bonds among themselves, they also need strong female role models they can look up to so that they are equipped to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the world.