Anjali is a 19-year-old student from a small village in the Gurugram district of Haryana, India. Anjali’s journey in activism began in 2019, when she first participated in programmes organised by Breakthrough, an organisation dedicated to combating gender-based violence. In school, she took part in the Taaron Ki Toli gender equity program, and even went on to become a Team Change Leader with Breakthrough.
The training opened her eyes to the various forms of discrimination and sexism she faced on a daily basis. Even though adolescent girls make up for a big proportion of the Indian population, they are often subjected to gender-based discrimination and deprived of basic rights. According to Anjali, girls are not given adequate support to achieve their educational goals, meaning that few go on to complete secondary school. On average, a girl in India receives less than four years of education in her lifetime.
Anjali is passionate about helping other teenage girls recognise and challenge gender-based discrimination. Through her project “Badi si Asha (Great Hope)”, she hopes to create awareness of the value of education, empowering young women to take charge of their own future. Another crucial component of her project is to spark a conversation with parents and the larger community (including teachers and government representatives) about the importance of girls’ education. Her campaign aligns with the SDG 5 of “Gender Equality”.
Anjali’s project will take place over 5 months, with one session organised fortnightly. The program will involve two groups, each comprising 15 participants. These groups will partake in street theatre, aiming to engage the broader community and stimulate conversation concerning women’s education, rights, and aspirations.
By the end of her project, Anjali hopes that the participants will be able to gain the confidence to identify and express their unique goals and aspirations. She also wishes that they will feel empowered to engage in an open and honest dialogue with their parents about their future.