How can young girl go to school when walking there jeopardizes her well being? Lotus Outreach is an international nonprofit that works to make education more accessible to girls by providing transportation. Since 2007, the organization has worked in Mewat, India to implement the Lotus Education as a Right Network (LEARN) project. This project focuses on hiring local minivan owners to drive girls to school every day via the Blossom Bus.
By creating a safe way for girls to get to school, Learn convinced “families to take a leap of faith and break with social conventions by sending their adolescent girls to available schools.” This program is continually growing with buses being booked and waiting lists being formed.
By creating this resource, LEARN hopes to raise Mewat’s female literacy rate. Although only a few hours away from thriving cities such as New Delhi, the town itself is full of misfortune and poverty. One family of four girls was selected for the project after the youngest expressed a desire to study further and postpone marriage beyond the age of 14.
With the help of LEARN Officer Suraj Kumar, there was time for the youngest, Murshida, to realize her dream. Eventually, all four girls went back to school. Many other families now continue to enroll their daughters in school. According to the Huffington Post, “Today, 12 vans in full-time operation keep 50 ambitious young women on track to complete high school”.
–by Anna Claybaugh