In the backward districts of the country, particularly in North India, parents have reservations about sending their daughters to school because of factors like lack of toilets and transportation.

“Parents generally consider the girl child a liability and boys as resources. Since they are seen as a burden why invest in them? To change the mindset of parents and reduce the widening gap between boys and girls in schools, we are building a cadre of village-based youth leaders called ‘Team Ballika’ to work as champions for girls education,” said Safeena Husain, who in 2005 founded Educate Girls, a comprehensive school reform model which leverages existing resources at the government, village and school levels.

An alumnus of the London School of Economics, this Delhiite chose the desert State of Rajasthan to specialise in her chosen field of social entrepreneurship; the reason being it was home to some of the most impov-erished districts in the country.

“My organisation is working in 5,000 schools in Rajasthan but we want to increase it to 30,000. What I am propagating is that girls offer magical solutions that can help in reducing poverty and give birth to healthy children when they get married. They can be the driver of growth.”

To help Safeena achieve her Herculean task, The Womanity Foundation founder Yann Borgstedt is providing her the services of her talented professionals, working in the field of human relations, financial consultation and public relations.