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Bicycles Distributed to Female Students in Tharparkar

Thar Education Alliance, in collaboration with Indigo Textile, UNDP (SDG Unit), and the District Education Department Tharparkar, distributed 80 bicycles at Government High School Malanhore Veena to deserving female students facing transport challenges hindering their attendance.

People from different walks of life attended the event including district education, civil society, activists, journalists, and the local community.

Addressing the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Thar Education Alliance expressed concern over the current scenario where over 0.3 million children in Thar are not attending school. He highlighted that in many areas, the number of female students is particularly high due to schools being far from their villages and other issues. Providing bicycles to these 80 deserving female students is not just a pilot activity but a strategic move to combat these challenges. By doing so, the initiative aims to not only break societal taboos but also ensure consistent attendance in schools.

Tharparkar district grapples with one of the country’s lowest female literacy rates, exacerbated by factors such as long distances to schools, cultural barriers, and safety concerns. He said.

Shivani added that recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Thar Education Alliance (TEA) and Indigo Textile have united forces in a collaborative effort to address this pressing issue. With a shared commitment to social development and a deep understanding of the transformative power of education, this partnership aims to break down barriers and pave the way for unhindered access to education for girls in Tharparkar. Through the “Pedaling towards Education” project, they embark on a journey towards empowering girls and fostering a culture of learning in the heart of Tharparkar.

Assistant Commissioner Mithi, Riaz Ali Shaikh, highlighted that the issue of out-of-school children poses a significant challenge in Tharparkar. However, the government is actively addressing this issue through reforms and policies. He commended the efforts of the Thar Education Alliance, emphasizing that their initiative signifies progress towards achieving SDG4.

Krishan Sharma, a professional in the development sector, emphasized that empowering girls leads to self-reliance and inclusion in decision-making processes. This initiative not only boosts enrolment but also addresses retention issues, particularly among post-primary girls.

District Education Officer Narsingh Bheel, along with DSP Waqas Durani, Sushil Malani, HM Satram Das, Ex-HM Ramchand Shivani, and other members of the local community, participated in the activity. They expressed their support for the initiative, recognizing the importance of providing bicycles to female students from five different schools in Malanhore Veena.

Female students who received the bicycles expressed their gratitude, stating that learning how to ride a cycle has empowered them and instilled confidence. They pledged to continue their education with dedication. Additionally, the community emphasized the need for transportation for girls commuting from other areas.

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