Charkha Feature English – 2023

Changing lives of girls in rural Ajmer

Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in the overall development of young girls and women yet the gendered gap in the field of ICT is vast. In states like Rajasthan where discrimination against women and girls is highly prevalent, efforts to bridge this gap through digital literacy are proving to be a game changer. The interventions designed and being implemented by both the government and non-government organizations have contributed immensely towards addressing this gap, especially in rural regions of the country.

Digital literacy in Rajasthan bridges gender gaps

Information, communication, and technology play crucial roles in the overall development of young girls and women. Yet, the gender gap in the field of ICT is vast. In states like Rajasthan where discrimination against women and girls is highly prevalent, efforts to bridge this gap through digital literacy is proving to be a game changer. The interventions designed and being implemented by both the government and non-government organisations have contributed immensely towards addressing this gap, especially in rural regions of the country.

Pushkar women balance life and work on ornate indonis

The land of colours and motifs, Rajasthan, conjures up the images of women wearing brightly coloured ghaghras and odhnis, delicately balancing pots on their heads as they walk across the desert to fetch water. A small but crucial part of this picture is the circular motif of the indoni — a round circular base on which women balance the pots. This indoni has been a motif of existence for Rajasthan, from times past right up to the present, supporting the multiple pots of life-giving water that women fetch each day in the desert state. As the indoni was such an essential part of their lives, women indoni makers began to embellish indonis with the gota that adorns their vivid attire.

Once Trafficked as ‘Brides’, Now Excluded: In Bihar’s Araria, a Second Chance Eludes Survivors

Radha is 26 years old and the mother of a nine-year-old girl. Her father was a farm labourer in Bihar’s Araria district. A year after he passed away – Radha was in Class 8 then – five strangers arrived at Radha’s house in a car. “I was married to one of them. In the middle of the night, I was taken to Delhi. Six months into the wedding, my husband started physically abusing me. One day, he sold me,” said Radha. Mukesh Sharma, Radha’s husband, and a resident of Uttar Pradesh sold her to a brothel in Agra, about 1,200 kms from Araria. Radha was forced into sex work.