Jaisalmer, India

Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls School and Women’s Center

Women’s rights have been an ongoing struggle in India. In the past decade, much progress has been made and there have even been female; presidents, high political office holders, CEOs, and other accomplished positions. However, there is a still a pervasive gender inequality, exacerbated by a bad culture of sexual assault and discriminatory measures against women. Some of the most damaging signs is in the preference for male children and the desperate attempts by families to have a son. This coupled with the belief that a man is doing his job well if his wife doesn’t have to work means that the status of women in India is deeply vulnerable. Female education isn’t prioritized outside of reasons pertaining to marriage, and women’s rights are frequently violated.

Rajasthan is the third largest state in India and ranks as the worst for female literacy. For men, the literacy rate is 79.19%, while staggeringly only 52.66% of females are literate. Rajasthan has a very high number of child marriages resulting in fewer girls getting a proper education. This vicious cycle of child marriage and little education leads the entire community, especially its women, into a life of poverty and unemployment. In fact, according to the 2011 census, the sex ratio for Rajasthan shows that for every 888 girls, there are 1000 men. A number which is also impacted by a high rate of female infanticide. (See complete report in the link below)

Jaisalmer Girls School and Women’s Economic Development Center Project

CITTA  is currently developing a two-part initiative comprised of a girl’s school and a women’s center. This institution will provide young girls with an education and give women opportunities in the village have access to independent and meaningful work. This unique program intertwines education with a social enterprise, drawing from the strength between women and girls and the bonds they already have. In speaking with the families in the village of Kanoi, many mothers said they were more likely to allow their girls to continue their education and not pull them out early if they went to an all-girls school. Moreover, the women’s center will amplify their mothers’ existing skills as embroiderers. Their products will enhance the region’s tourism trade. We will provide additional resources for the whole family through additional skills, personal development, gender equality, and financial stability workshops.

The proposed population the project will serve is located in the Thar Desert region northwest of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. The proposed site is around 30 minutes outside of the city center of Jaisalmer amidst the desert region. This stark location provides a degree of privacy and calmness from the otherwise hectic schedules of their lives.

This location also allows for expansion because of the virtually limitless undeveloped land. We hope that the project will become self-sustaining, requiring minimal or no further outside financial support within approximately five years of completion.

Citta has worked directly with the royal family of Jaisalmer, the Maharwal’s. Thanks to the continued support of Her Highness Maharani Sahib Raseshwari Devi and Prince Chaitanya Raj Singh, interest in the Rajkumari Ratnavati School has grown in the villages. Her Highness, an ardent supporter of women’s rights and youth education, has garnered the enthusiastic cooperation of local government officials.

One Comment on “Jaisalmer, India

  1. Thanks to citta to give a good opportunity to Kanoi village.

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