Samata on International Day of the Girl Child 2013

Samata: Keeping girls in secondary school


Launched in July 2013 by KHPT, the intervention aims to reduce HIV risk among adolescent girls in Bijapur and Bagalkot Districts by increasing their rates of secondary school enrolment and completion.


India’s commitment to realizing universal education has been demonstrated through its landmark Right to Education Act and flagship Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme. Yet serious challenges remain in terms of retention, quality, and equity in education. Aggregate indications of progress conceal disparities in education quality and attainment that are compounded by gender, geography, caste, and class.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of adolescent girls belonging to scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) families in the districts of Bijapur and Bagalkot in northern Karnataka. The likelihood of SC/ST girls in these districts completing secondary school is sharply diminished by poverty, stigma and traditions of early marriage or dedication as devadasi sex workers before they turn 18.


Samata will reach 69 high schools and 605 teachers, serving approximately 3,600 adolescent girls from villages in Bijapur and Bagalkot Districts. The project is designed for a range of stakeholders, from adolescent girls and boys, their parents, schools and teachers, to the wider community, state and district officials and local media. It focuses on the most proximate structural issues impeding girls’ access to education and academic performance, including:

  • family poverty
  • gender discrimination
  • the traditions of early marriage and devadasi dedication
  • boys’ actions and attitudes towards girls
  • inadequate measures to meet girls’ needs at schools
  • inadequate measures by community authorities and education officials to enforce girls’ right to education




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