We are engaged in an action research project in ten rural communities of Nashik districts in Maharashtra on the issue of young womens education and lives. Young women who have dropped from formal education are in the forefront in conducting this research in their communities. The action-research aims to develop their capacities and deepen their understanding of research process that enables them to understand their learning barriers, their learning aspiration, problems they encounter in formal education, marriage and livelihoods, and what alternatives they have in mind which will make their lives meaningful.
A hundred girls from ten villages conducted the action research on the topics of gender, education, livelihood and life skills to young marginalized young girls aged between 14 to 25 years old in their respective communities.
The shodhinis discovered the joys of learning as they took positive steps in discovering and empowering themselves. The research enabled them to conduct various research methods like census and in-depth surveys of their fellow girls in their villages.
This project not only focuses on analyzing the findings derived from the gathered data but also on generating action based on data. It helped improve the way shodhinis looked at themselves, their families, and their communities, inspiring girls in their villages. By amplifying their voices and opinions in the decision-making processes at the family and community levels-for instance, by lobbying for the construction of libraries- the shodhinis were able to demonstrate their leadership skills in shaping the development of their villages, thereby enhancing their dignity and self worth.
We at Abhivyakti, believe that research should not be limited to a certain class or a group, and it should be available as a tool to identify one’s problems and its root causes even to the most disadvantaged populations. To that end, Abhivyakti Media for Development has initiated a program titled ‘Shodhini’ (seeker) which seeks to inculcate the knowledge and skills of action research among rural girls in North Maharashtra. This program has been implemented in 15 villages from Nashik and Dhule district. During our research process, various training sessions were organized which focused on education, health, employment and the rights of 14-25-year-old girls in the villages and how to use research as a tool for achieving them. Their research results throw light on some interesting findings.
To take this process forward, and to convert this research into meaningful action and to present these findings before the world, we are planning to hold a program titled ‘Shodhini Samvad’.
The date of October 11 is celebrated worldwide as International Girls’ Day as per a declaration by UNICEF. On this occasion, we at Abhivyakti plan to present the findings and recommendations from the research conducted by our Shodhinis and to discuss a future plan of action for it. We believe that a range of stakeholders including social workers, social organizations, educational institutions, industrialists, government officers and some thinkers within society can deliberate and guide us on the process of transforming these recommendations into concrete actions. We wish to invite you as a part of this critical group of people who will guide this process and the steps we can take in the future.
Date: 11th October 2019
Time: 11.00 am to 1.30 pm
Venue: Vishakha hall, Kusumagraj Smarak, Gangapur Road, Nashik