Bleak future for ‘Girl Child’ in Slums

Recently Child Rights and You (CRY) conducted a survey of 480 people living in urban slums across five cities, including Mumbai, Kolkata,Delhi and Bangalore directed towards girl child’s education in these slums.

The survey has revealed interesting insights that leave one ponder on ‘how to protect the fate of girl child’ in our urban poor settlements.

Some of the findings of this survey were:

  • The prospect of getting a secondary school education seems like a long shot for many girls in Mumbai’s slums.
  • Around 78% of slum-dwellers in the city believe that if a girl below the age of 18 is tall and can work for a living, she should not be considered a child at all.
  • Girls in urban slums also have to fight cultural notions associated with marriage. Eighty six per cent of respondents from Mumbai — the highest among all cities — subscribe to the belief that girls should get married between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • Around 42% of respondents in Mumbai said girls are not allowed to study after their marriage and 78% are aware of school-going girls in their neighbourhood tying the knot.
  • The survey also found that 82% of urban slum-dwellers in Mumbai believe that common toilets are “not good” for girls.
  • The reasons why such girls are not attending school ranged from taking care of younger siblings and household chores to needing help in storing water
  • The report highlighted that despite the state government drives to spread awareness about RTE, 36% respondents in Mumbai were unaware that education is a right of children aged six to 14.Also, education is the first priority of only 28.7% respondents.
  • Fear of abuse, non-availability of transport, distance from home to school and lack of toilets were noted by the study. As many as 31 per cent respondents felt that children faced problems of transportation on their way to school, while 59 per cent said the system of transportation was not safe for girls. Forty-four per cent agreed that girl children were abused in schools, while 46 per cent said girls were abused on their way to school

The report on girl children’s education clearly brings out an urgent need to address the issue at all levels. While we have made rapid strides in universalisation of primary education over the last two decades, there are still significant gaps, especially at the level of secondary education.

Lakshmi, in Ram Nagar-Raipur, all ready to go to a school which is about 2km away from her basti. Soon, she will be ‘tall enough’ to be denied her right for education! – photograph by Nidhi Batra



4 thoughts on “Bleak future for ‘Girl Child’ in Slums

  1. Taruna Goel October 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm Reply

    Thanks for this post. It is unfortunate that being ‘tall-enough’ can deny a girl the right to education and a bright future.

  2. hotel travel March 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm Reply

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  3. ramblinginthecity May 5, 2014 at 8:29 am Reply

    Reblogged this on ramblinginthecity and commented:
    Depressing, but needs urgent attention!

  4. B. M. May 5, 2014 at 9:17 am Reply

    this is such a sad situation .. anything i can do to help .. do let me know ..

    my email is

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