Aarti Naik




SAKHI for Girls Education

Vision Statement

Every girl is going to school confidently with quality learning. Every girl from slum area will able to access safe and quality learning spaces at her own slum community area. So she will able to continue her school education confidently.

Project Details

My name is Aarti Naik. I am a slum-based young girl Changemaker. Since 2008 I have been helping my slum-based girls to continue their school education confidently with quality learning. I am the founder and director of SAKHI for Girls Education. My project is - Girls Learning Center Girls Learning Center - A community-based girls education program Aim - Every girl should able to continue her school education confidently with quality learning. Objectives – 1. To create ‘safe and quality learning spaces’ for girls at their slum community 2. To improve the quality of girls’ basic education with life skills 3. To ensure that every girl is going to school regularly and learning well 4. To empower mothers to lead their daughters' education confidently 5. To ensure that every girl is healthy in the slum area Girls’ Learning Centre emerged from Aarti Naik’s experiences of working with girls from the slum area. It provides a safe and quality learning space where girls come together to learn. Girls Learning Centre offers a community-based basic education programme especially for building basic literacy, numeracy, and life skills of slum-based girls with a lifelong learning approach. It helps to build the confidence of girl to continue her education.

Focus area of project

Education and Skill building

Stage of your work in poverty eradication

Stabilised; looking to scale

Aims to eradicating poverty

My life story inspires me every day to move ahead in my life to continue my girls' education work in my slum area: Aarti Naik is a slum based Young Girl Changemaker from Mulund west suburban slum area of Mumbai, India. She has been staying in a slum area of Mulund (w), Mumbai since her birth. Nine year ago, she was a 10th std. school dropout girl and there was no hope to continue her education. Because of her family`s poor condition, lack of proper guidance at home & community and poor focus on quality education at school, she failed in 10th std. and hence she became a one School drop-out girl and parents insisted her to stay at a home. She strongly wanted to continue my education but due to poor conditions of parents, she decided to work and to continue her education. Hence she did not give up with situations, but at initial stage, it was very hard time for her to move ahead confidently and to come out from such challenging situation. But she was not aware of any work in outside world, so she started to prepare ladies chains at home. Some women from neighbors were doing the same things, so they helped her to get such work. Every day she used to get 9 rupees of her work. She worked for three years continuously. Then she started her education with the help of her three year earnings and some money from her parents. Hence after three year she passed in 10th std. exam. While she was studying, many thoughts came in her mind that whatever difficulties she had faced during her school education, her slum based girl will face the same situation. Also in her slum area, there is not supportive environment for girl`s education. There is a lack of awareness about the education of children especially for girl child. These girls are facing so many socio-economic problems to continue their education. Based on her own school life experiences, she realized that her slum based girls’ lacks in basic literacy and numeracy skills, so they fail to cope up with their formal school. So therefore she felt that something should be done for her slum girl`s education. But who will do it? Answer came in her mind - Yes! I Can! But there was not any support for Aarti to help her slum girls. As a slum girl it was not easy to come out from home and support her slum based girls. Her struggle started from home to get permission from her parents for working with her slum girls. She started to talk with her friends, fortunately someone suggested her about Ashoka`s Youth Venture. It was turning point of her life. Ashoka`s Youth Venture provided her Changemaker Fellowship. She got new identity that “I am Changemaker!” and also she got small financial help for one year. They build her confidence that “Yes! I can Dream it! I can do it!” With the help of their continuous capacity building workshops, initially she started to conduct basic educational capacity building classes of primary school going girls. Then during August 2008, she started her social venture “SAKHI for Girls Education” (SAKHI means a female friend of girls who inspire, guide and support other girls for their good cause.), especially for slum girl’s education.

Current impact of the project

Since 2008 Aarti Naik has been leading – Girls Learning Center, during these nine years more than 300 girls got benefitted from the educational activities. The biggest achievement is every girl is continuing her school education confidently with quality learning. Slum based girls showed a clear understanding of the basic concepts of language and math. It provided strong foundation to build their basic literacy and numeracy skills. Girls showed remarkable progress in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in local language. Girls build their basic numeracy skills and they are able to read and write numbers, carryout basic operations such as addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, etc. Girls build their self-confidence to face day-to-day challenging situations at home, school and slum community level with building life skills such as public speaking, self expression through writing, conversation with peers, good critical thinking, etc Girls reading and writing habits cultivated through various activities such as story-telling, sharing new information, playing educational games, free writing, sharing experiences through writing and participation in action songs, so in long run slum girls will become good reader with effective writing skills.

Proposed impact in future

Today around 70 girls are getting continuous opportunities to be part of various educational activities of Girls Learning Center. I have aspirations to develop simple but effective - basic literacy and numeracy skills building program, so every girl will able to continue her school confidently with quality learning. In the next five years, I wish to establish 5 Girls Learning Center in slum areas from Mulund west suburban areas of Mumbai.