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India's 40% teenage girls drop out due to lack of safe, secure atmosphere in school, college

By Our Representative
Nearly 40 per cent of adolescent girls in the age group 15-18 drop out of schools in India due to lack of safe and secure atmosphere in education institutions. Pointing this out, Ambarish Rai, national convenor, Right to Education (RTE) Forum, told a seminar in Delhi that even after 72 years of our Independence, India has failed in provide safe and secure atmosphere for girls in their schools or educational institutions.
Speaking at the national consultation on safe and secure education for girls, organised by the RTE Form at the India International Centre, Rai regretted that only 12.7 per cent schools are RTE compliant, pointing out that the RTE Act provides for education in a safe and secure atmosphere. “It is sad to see that there are moves to weaken this Act. Commercialisation and privatisation are ruining our education in a big way. This should be stop,” he added.
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi, who heads Nirbhaya Jyoti Trust, said, “Time and again we have seen that safety issue has taken its heavy toll on girls’ future, particularly their education. As parents or guardians, we tend to think it’s meaningless to educate our girls as they have to go to other’s home after marriage. But it’s a completely wrong approach. We must remember that it’s the education which will guide our girls when they go away from us after marriage.”
Priyank Kanoongo, chairperson, National Council for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), acknowledging that safe and secure education for girls, said, “A collective effort is required to change this situation. Parents, members of SMCs and officials, all have to come together to undertake his task.”
Others who spoke on the occasion included Dr Ashok Pankaj, director, Council for Social Development; Prof Geeta Menon of Jamia Milia Islamia University; Dr RC Dabas, and senior-vice president, All India Primary Teachers’ Association.

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