‘Niravu’ helps schoolgirls slay their mental, emotional demons

Teenage is often considered synonymous with confusion and complexity, especially for girls. This is the age when they begin to deal with the problems faced by women all over the world. This is the age when the girls need the right guidance and support to bloom into self-respecting, strong individuals.

Unfortunately, girls these days have multiple demons to fight — within and without their homes. Unable to share their anxieties or seek help, many end up emotional wrecks. Helping them deal with the demons head-on is usually the only way out.

Its mission

This is where ‘Niravu’ comes in. A programme envisaged by Sthree Chethana, a Kozhikode-based NGO for women in 2011, Niravu aims at building girls’ self-esteem, helping them to develop emotionally, socially, and educationally. ‘Niravu’ was successfully executed in a batch of 120 girls at the Achuthan Girls Higher Secondary School here over three years. The girls were picked up from class 8 and by the time they reached class 10, they had undergone rigorous training by experts on various topics that concern them.

They were divided into groups based on their answers to a questionnaire approved by psychologists that rated their self esteem, emotional level, social skills, and educational standard. As per the rating, 34 out of the 120 students needed psychological counselling, while some needed help with education. Around 20 of them needed strong support to deal with their personal problems. They were offered individual counselling by psychologists.

The volunteers of Sthree Chethana organised 12 sessions for them on various topics that included adolescent health, ways to face examinations, creativity and writing, and goal-setting. An advocate spoke to them on the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012 while a doctor elaborated how the body changes during adolescence and how to deal with it.

‘Niravu’ was restricted to one school so that the organisers could pay complete attention to the batch. Now they are planning to start afresh, possibly in another school.

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