Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

02 August 2015

What does a name like Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES) evoke in your mind? When I heard it for the first time, I thought it is an initiative to educate very old people! PPES operates from Anupshahar, also called Chhoti Kashi, near Bulandshahar in UP, a place flanked by rivers the Ganga and the Yamuna. The nickname is apparently due to similarity in terms of ‘ghats’ on the river Ganga.
Coming back to PPES, I visited Anupshahar with Renuka, an energetic, soft-spoken lady who runs PPES. The town and nearby villages were lovely in the month of July. Greenery everywhere! PPES runs a school, started 15 years back, exclusively for girls and now has 1000+ enrolled students from pre-school to 12th.
Girls in Anupshahar have come a long way thanks to PPES. It is a town known for crime and girls’ education used to get zero priority. Most girls would drop out of school after primary classes to help out at home. 27 girls who successfully completed 12th in 2015 from PPES, are either pursuing further education or have started working. It is indeed a heartening achievement! Girls in Anupshahar now look forward to become police officers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, nurses and what not!
My interaction with girls of 11th class proved that these girls were as curious, confident and ambitious as any girl I have come across from in Delhi. Each of them has set a clear goal for herself. Career counseling and personality development programmes at PPES have made a huge difference in aspirations of these girls.
Sam Singh – the founder of PPES, has leveraged his network in US to gain support from volunteers and donors. PPES attracts volunteers from US who help in training the students and teachers and also runs an exchange programme. It was amazing to meet Shivani, an alumna of PPES, who had recently come back from USA after a three-month exchange programme. Her poise and confidence should stand her in good stead and help her achieve her career dreams in hospitality industry.
The most vibrant part of the school is its pre-primary and primary section. Colourful walls full of paintings, posters & buntings along with bubbly, cheerful and naughty kids make this part of school lively and full of joy.
At the end of the visit, came the icing on the cake. Literally speaking, the school bakery was baking puffs and biscuits and its aroma, it was yumm! I promised Renuka that I would spend a night next time I visit Anupshahar cleverly concealing the fact that I wanted to properly sample the wares offered by its bakery!
While PM Modi has rightly focused on ‘Beti’, Sam Singh’s dreams of Beti Padhao to ensure that daughters grow as self-dependent, confident individuals with high self-esteem have made a clear and significant difference to the girls in Anupshahar. PPES has indeed done path-breaking work in this area.
 - by Ulhasmita on July 10, 2015