Imagine, a girl from a small hamlet, a daughter of a woman who grazes sheep, going on to complete not only school education, but who is on the verge of completing a college education and even planning to do an MBA. There are girls like her increasing in number in Coimbatore and other parts of the State, thanks to the efforts of ‘Save Our Daughters India’.
This Movement has proved that poverty is no longer a hurdle for the girl from a poor, broken, or parent-less family, to aspire for higher education and eventually a better future.
Today, there are girls who have broken all these shackles to become graduates and clinch jobs.
Aimed at providing higher education to orphaned or poor girl children, the movement focuses more on girls staying in the Government-run Sathya Ammaiyar Ninaivu Arasu Kuzhanthaigal Kaapagam.
The first batch (2009) of 11 girls whose education was organised by the Movement, have completed graduation and are either pursuing post-graduation or have taken up jobs.
Managing Trustee of the Movement T. Sampath Kumar ensures that a philanthropist sponsors the education of a girl on a one-to-one basis. The free seat system that some colleges extend to the underprivileged students is also used to benefit these girls.
S. Divya, a B.Com. graduate, is pursuing Masters in International Business part-time while working in a private accounts firm.
When she was put in the Kaapagam as a five-year old by her single mother who could not make ends meet, she never thought she will come such a long way.
After 2009, the consecutive years have witnessed the same pattern. Those who have chosen to take up a college education have been sent to colleges, while those who have chosen to do diploma or take up a job after standard XII have been assisted in these too.
S. Sudha, with a mentally challenged father and a mother who could not make ends meet, entered the Kaapagam when she was eight years old. She chose to do a diploma in education. As she waits for a permanent teaching job, she is employed elsewhere. She has plans to take up higher education once she lands a permanent job.
Another attraction for the girls to take up higher education is that, earlier they were allowed to stay in the Kaapagam only till completion of 18 years, or standard XII. But continued efforts by the Movement and the Department of Social Welfare made the State Government relax the age limit in 2012 so that the girls could stay till completion of 21 years, or graduation.
The beneficiaries are a motivated lot and have not taken for granted the education that has been offered to them free of cost.
They have worked hard to put the philanthropy to optimum use, which has paved the way for many others like them to enjoy the same. Their success has enabled the Movement garner more support from philanthropists and institutions to give meaning to the lives of many girls, through education.