Thousands of girls at IIMPACT have passed class I and joined class II this year. Many of those who completed class V have joined formal schools in class VI – this year they number- 762!

762 Girls Appeared For the Exams this year. 100% passed.






This year IIMPACT has reached a new milestone-762 girls had appeared in class V exams at two IIMPACT locations, Alwar in Rajasthan and Sitapur, in Uttar Pradesh. These girls performed very well indeed attaining very good scores.

This year the number of girls who have successfully completed class V from IIMPACT is 762. As a point of reference the first batch of 75 IIMPACT girls had passed class V in 2006 and joined formal schools from class VI, this number has gone up in successive years and this year alone 762 girls have passed and a majority are ready to join class VI.

We congratulate all these girls and wish them success in the future.

We thank all our donors for making all this possible – their steadfast support is hugely motivating and inspirational.



IIMPACT participated in the Global Giving Challenge which took place in the month of April. The good news is that IIMPACT successfully completed the GlobalGiving Challenge in 8th place, raising funds from 80 unique donations from its supporters.This helped ensure that IIMPACT earned a permanent spot with Global Giving, a U.S. based online giving platform, which offers donors transparency and ease of processing and supports not-for-profits like IIMPACT by providing greater visibility. Learn more about our listed project at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/iimpact-educating-the-girl-child-in-india/.

All of us at IIMPACT take this opportunity to thank each and everyone that helped IIMPACT beat this challenge!

Girls are still considered to be a social burden…..

The missing daughters of Jhajjar

B Y R UHI T EWARI ruhi.t@livemint.com ·························

Fifteen-year-old Aarti Ahelawat waits patiently for the midday meal at the govern- ment senior secondary school in Chhuchhakwas, a village in Haryana’s Jhajjar district. Her younger brother goes to the privately run Paramount Se- nior Secondary School a few metres away, and doesn’t have to wait for the free meal.

“Mother fed him a sumptu- ous breakfast,“ says Ahelawat, who left home hungry.

Ahelwat’s story and rampant female foeticide explain why Jhajjar has the worst child sex ratio in the country (the num- ber of girls for every 1,000 boys among children till the age of six), according to the census that was released last week.

Jhajjar reported a child sex ratio of 774 compared with the national average of 914 and the state average of 830.

Jhajjar’s experience is not unique. It is only an extreme manifestation of a larger na
tional trend that cuts across class and the rural-urban di- vide.

The census numbers also raise questions about the ef- fectiveness of policies that have, in the last decade, tried to reverse the decline in the child sex ratio, which became apparent in Census 2001.

Researchers and activists say the skewed ratio is the reflec- tion of a deep-rooted social prejudice and will require a strong response.

“Though it is illegal, most people get ultrasound tests done to determine the sex of the baby, and if it is a girl, they go in for abortions,“ said Santara Devi, chief of the vil- lage council of Dariyapur vil- lage, also in Jhajjar district, re- ferring to a law banning sex se- lection. “But nobody says it openly these days, unlike in earlier times.“

India’s Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994, prohibits “sex selection, before or after conception“ and prevents ex- pectant parents from using pre-natal diagnostic tech- niques to find out the sex of their baby.
The problem A teacher at a government school in Dariyapur echoes Devi’s sentiments.

“People getting `ultra- sounds’ to determine the baby’s sex is a norm. There is nothing wrong with it,“ said Raj Kumar, who teaches math- ematics. “Boys, after all, are boys, and they are the ones who carry forward a family’s legacy.“

Kumar has one son. He said his wife had a “miscarriage when she was carrying a girl“.

With the availability of por- table ultrasound machines, the technology to identify the gen- der of the foetus is now more easily available across the country.

“There has been no im- provement in the condition of women in Jhajjar and other ad- joining areas. With advanced sex-determination techniques, foeticides have become even more common,“ said Manoj Solanki, who runs the Associa- tion for Social Research and Action, a non-governmental organization. “Girls are still considered to be a social bur- den and practices like dowry are responsible for such think- ing.“

Analysts and researchers say the ratio has become skewed because the girl child that is born is discriminated against, pushing up the mortality rate in the 0-6 age group.

The infant mortality rate for boys is 64 per 1,000; it is 73 per 1,000 for girls. “Female infanticide is fairly uncommon now. But apart from sex-selective abortions, what happens is how the girl child is brought up–it makes her more vulnerable to diseas- es and death,“ said the princi- pal of a big government school near Azadpur village, also in Jhajjar district.

Although the lady has worked in the area of women’s empowerment and awareness, she wanted to remain anony- mous.

“For instance, most boys who come to school are well- fed, while the girls seem to be starving and waiting eagerly for the midday meal. Then again, boys are given better medical treatment, nutri- tion…while the girl child tends to be ignored,“ she said. “One must remember that children in the 0-6 age group are very vulnerable to sickness. All this leads to a higher mortality rate for girls, and hence, a skewed child sex ratio.“

The problem has been exac- erbated by a decline in fertility rates, which normally comes with improved economic con- ditions.

According to the 2011 Cen- sus, the number of children in the 0-6 age group has fallen from about 163.8 million in 2001 to about 158.8 million now–an indicator of declining fertility.
Falling numbers However, the census also points out that the decline is greater for the girl child. While there was a decline of almost three million among girls, the decline among boys was only a little over two million.

“There are two main causes of skewed sex ratios in places like Jhajjar. One, foeticide, and two, dipping fertility rates,“ said activist Sabu George, who works in the area of women development and empower- ment. “With economic development and prosperity, the preference for a small family has increased, and along with it the desire for a boy child has been further enhanced.“

George, too, claims female in- fanticide is rare and limited to some very “difficult areas“.

An example of the small family phenomenon can be seen in Khetawas village, where most couples prefer to have two children, or even one child. Of a population of around 2,200 in the village, only 900 are women.

“People are now becoming more aware of the benefits of small families, and hence, are limiting themselves to one or two children,“ said village council chief Malta Devi. “ Be- cause of that, the demand for a boy has increased even more.
So when a couple has a boy as their first born, they undergo surgeries to ensure they can’t conceive again.“

“We had two boys and then I got an operation. Why should I risk having any girls now? We don’t want so many children,“ said Hemlata of Khetawas.

The social repercussions of this phenomenon of the miss- ing daughters are already ap- parent in Jhajjar.

In the conservative Jat-dom- inated Mathanhail village, the skewed sex ratio is forcing many young men to marry from outside the state.

“The main problem of less women is we are finding it dif- ficult to get our sons married, “ said 50-year-old Krishna, whose two sons in their 20s have been suitable match- es. “So we have to now get girls from Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Oris- sa…. This is leading to further cultural problems.“ Naresh, who uses only one name and married Sunita from Jharkhand two years ago, said: “I faced a big problem. There were no wom- en. I couldn’t get married till I was over 30, when we got Suni- ta from another state.“

They now have a one- month-old daughter.

“I got married around two years ago and have managed to now learn the customs and language,“ said Sunita. “But it is very different here as com- pared to where I am from. I have to cover my face. It wasn’t so strict there. It is more con- servative here.“

Both Sunita and Naresh say their daughter will be treated differently.

Girls at “IIMPACT” Share a Very Special Afternoon With Bryan Adams


Bryan Adams, the world famous Grammy award winning singer-songwriter, is an ardent supporter of IIMPACT. The Bryan Adams Foundation and IIMPACT together educate 600 out-of-school and never-been-to-school in the villages of Jaipur district in Rajasthan. Bryan Adams Foundation and IIMPACT thus share a common belief that education is the best gift that a child can be given.

During his recent visit to Delhi Bryan Adams set aside some of his valuable time to share some very special moments with 16 IIMPACT girls from his supported centres, along with their teachers and members of the IIMPACT team.  These young girls traveled all the way to the capital from remote villages in Rajasthan, visiting a large metro for the very first time in order meet with the singer.

Bryan personally met and interacted with each of the girls. The girls presented Bryan with special traditional Indian musical instruments – the Sarangi and a Bansuri ; the singer was delighted as the teachers showed him how to play these instruments.

The girls sang songs personally compiled by them for the occasion, the words of  which thanked the star for his valuable support, letting him know that he holds a special place in their hearts.  They also enthusiastically sang one of his songs – ‘ On a Day Like Today’ which was very beautifully rendered – taking the singer by complete surprise.   Some of the girls performed tradional Rajasthani folk dances in their colourful lehengas. Bryan Adams was charmed!

Bryan captured these very special moments, continuously taking pictures with his personal camera.

The girls and IIMPACT staff encouraged Bryan Adams to dance along with them to some of the lively folk music being played.  He won everybody’s hearts as he sang a few lines from his songs. One of the young girls innocently blurted out loud ‘ Yeh to bahut accha gate hain !’ (‘He really sings very well !“).

This has indeed been a very meaningful experience for all at IIMPACT and this will be a day that these young IIMPACT girls will never forget.

The support of Bryan Adams Foundation continues to change the lives of the poor children, just like his music changes the lives of millions across the globe.

To Change the World, Invest in Girls


An article in the current issue of Time Magazine, titled “To Fight Poverty, Invest in Girls“,  talks about the importance of investing in girls to reduce poverty and disease in the developing world.   Across most of the developing world, very few girls are educated and most end up tending house, cleaning and cooking by the age of 12.  In parts of Africa,  less than 1 in 5 girls make it to secondary school.  Almost half are married by the time they are 18 and 1 in 7 are married by the time they are 15.   It is shocking to learn that the leading cause of death worldwide for girls aged 15 to 19 is complications from pregnancy.

This vicious cycle can be broken easily by education.   Just an extra  year of primary schooling for girls results in  10% to 20% better wages for them.  Studies have found that girls who stay in school   marry later and have fewer children.  And girls and women who earn an income, end up  investing  90% of it  in their families – compared to only 30% to 40% for men.  Although the benefits are huge it is surprising that  less than 2% of development funds go towards girls and 90% of youth programs are designed for boys.    While there are many factors for this neglect it is partly because of cultural attitudes towards girls across most of the world.  This is slowly changing but a lot more needs to be clearly done.

The article is very relevant to the work being done by IIMPACT and lays out a very compelling case for our own mission to educate girls in the rural and backwards regions of India.   You can view the original article at  Time.com by following this link    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2046045,00.html.

Winter Warmth For IIMPACT Girls..


A group of young well wishers recently embarked on a blanket distribution drive and donated blankets to IIMPACT – indeed a timely and very thoughtful gesture during the peak of winter.

The distribution across IIMPACT learning centres started yesterday and is in full swing. All the blankets received would have been distributed amongst the most needy of the girls by this Monday. 3rd January 2011.

A very warm and wonderful way to bring cheer into these young lives. A great way for the girls to bring in the New Year!