Education of girls: NGO rises to occasion while govt shies away
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Jhugian (Hoshiarpur)  September 24
The government has failed, to take up the task of providing education to girls in one of the most backward ‘Bet’ areas of the district but a non-government organisation has taken up this task.

Swami Chetna Nand Maharaj Bhuriwale girls college in remote Mansowal village of Hoshiarpur has been providing education to 150 girls. The ‘Bet’ is one of the poorest and backward areas of the state.

Infertile land with stones and unavailability of water for irrigation have hampered progress of the area. Backwardness of the area is also reflected in the attitude of residents of the area. Most of residents do not provide education to their girls. Most of the girls in the area are married off at an early age and only lucky ones among them obtain matriculation qualification. The philanthropic society opened the college in the area to provide education to girls in 1997.

Principal of the college Dr Jagjit Kaur told The Tribune initially they found it very difficult to find students in the area. Nobody was willing to send girls to the college.

Initially they had to be content with 50 girl students. The staff of the college had to persuade by going to villages before every academic session to attract students. Parents of the girl students were persuaded to send them to college. Slowly strength of the college has increased to 150.

Paying capacity of the area is another problem. The college charges a nominal fee of Rs 200 per month from students to meet recurring expenses. However, many of the students are not in a position to pay even that much. Education free of cost is given to poor students who cannot afford to pay fee.

Despite all these hurdles the college has achieved good academic standards. Result of the college is 100 per cent. At the youth festival of Panjab University the college has won zonal trophy and 28 other prizes. In yoga the college has been topping university competitions.

Due to poor paying capacity of people of the area the college has not been able to start science classes. Computer classes are, however, being started very soon, she said. The teachers in the college despite having best qualifications, are not getting salary as per the UGC standards. The management is able to give them just basic pay.

Case for government takeover of the college was moved in August 2005. All papers were sent to the DPI higher education. However, nothing has been done in this regard so far. If the college is taken over by the government it would be boost education of girls in this most backward area of the state.