Indian village empowers girls by naming houses after girls
When a remote village in Jharkhand, eastern India, launched an initiative to name the houses after their daughters in 2016, they didn’t know it would make the village proud.
Tiring became the first tribal village in the state of Jharkhand where nameplates bear the names of the daughters of the family. And six years later, the villagers say that it has succeeded in bringing about changes in the village and outside.
As International Day of the Girl is celebrated on Monday, villagers said similar initiatives should be replicated in other villages to end gender discrimination.
“The aim behind this initiative was for the women of the village to obtain their identity and increase their self-confidence. India being a patriarchal society, the nameplates outside the houses are mainly men. So our initiative was to end this discrimination, ”said Urmila. Samad, an elected official from the village, said.
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The village has 700 inhabitants and around 120 families. Initially, the houses had nameplates for men but this practice was reversed.
“Today, a woman from the village receives a lot of respect because of this. Not only is a family known by their daughter, but the village is also known by this initiative,” Samad said.
According to the villagers, the initiative has brought about changes.
“It benefited,” Urmila said. “Initially, the villages were known to men and it has now reversed.”
Due to this move, there has been a growing interest in education, Samad added.
“Now the focus is on getting an education and going to college,” she said. “Our is a tribal village, and now the priority is that every girl receives an education. “
Sanjay Kumar, an administrative officer stationed in the area who led the initiative early on, said the response was good and the idea was widely appreciated.
He said that with this initiative he advanced the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”, or Save the Girl, Teach the Girl, a campaign to improve the gender ratio of children in India.
“We went further with the Meri Beti, Meri Pehchan (My daughter, my identity) campaign, launched from Tiring,” he said. “It worked in a positive way.”
The initiative is now finding takers in other areas.
Last December, the northern state of Uttarakhand replicated the initiative in Pauri Garhwal district and named the houses after the girls. The girls’ names were part of a plan to raise awareness among women and their families about “women’s rights and land ownership,” officials said.