You are here



For millions of girls across India, getting an education is the only way to escape poverty, abuse, early marriage, and early pregnancy. A variety of factors already deter girls in India from going to school, especially those who come from rural areas and / or low-income communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue with the deepening digital divide and has impacted girls’ education, especially higher education disproportionately.

In India, girls' education is often considered the lowest priority; particularly, a girl's higher education. A 2017 National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights' (NCPCR report), also echoes similar worries that around 39.4 per cent of adolescent girls in the 15-18 age group are not attending any educational institution. According to current transition rates (AISHE Report 2018-19), Enrolment of girls in primary school is 97.6 %; Enrolment in secondary school is 81%; Enrolment in Senior Secondary School is 56.4%; Enrolment in Higher education is 23.5%.The highest percentage of girls drop out between Class X and Class XI. In 2016-17, the highest average annual dropout rate at different stages of school education was at the secondary level; the rate is at 19.8. The percentage distribution of persons in the age group of 5-29 years who dropped out/ discontinued education is highest for the age group 16-24 years at 55.4% (with males at 53.6% and females at 57.4%). (Women and Men in India: A statistical compilation of Gender-related Indicators in India, 2018, 20th Issue Social Statistics Division Central Statistics Office Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Government of India)

Ten million girls in India dropped out of secondary school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Right to Education Forum policy brief (2021). With 1.6 million girls aged 11 to 14 years currently out of school, the pandemic could disproportionately impact girls further by putting them at risk of early marriage, early pregnancy, poverty, trafficking and violence.

Udayan Shalini Fellowship Program (USF) of Udayan Care takes the initiative to intervene at class XI where the dropout is the highest among females due to various social and economic barriers. Thereby ensuring that young girls from economically disadvantaged families can aspire and achieve their dreams of pursuing and completing their higher education and become independent 'Shalinis' or dignified, empowered women.

Our Resources