'Meena Mela' to bring social inclusion in education

 Zilla Panchayath President Upendra Nayak said that attendance of girls in the schools in Udupi district is highest in comparison to other districts. He added there are also less drop-out among girls in the district.

Speaking after inaugurating the district-level ‘Meena Mela-2012-13,’ organised by Zilla Panchayath in association with Udupi District Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and District Public Instruction Department here in SMS Community Hall, the ZP president said that the programme is aimed at bringing social inclusion in education and to provide free and compulsory education to the girl child.

The programme intends to form groups of girls and boys with sharp communication skills in primary schools and through these groups promotion of girls education is taken up, he added.

He said that the main objective of ‘Meena Mela’ is to develop and promote facilities to provide access and to facilitate retention of girls and to ensure greater participation of girls in the filed of education. It also aims to improve the quality of education through various interventions and to stress upon the relevance and quality of girls’ education for their empowerment, he added.

DDPI Nagendra Madhyastha told Deccan Herald that the Meena Mela is the programme initiated under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to create awareness about importance of girls’ education. Each government school in the district has ‘Meena Club’ since past three years, in which nearly 12-15 boys and girls form a group. Various social activities are taken up through these groups in ‘Meena Club’.

They are given awareness over human relationships, health and hygiene and various other issues. Group discussions among the members of Meena Club are held on gender concerns and social evils like dowry, child marriage, child labor and attempts are made to create awareness.

Besides group discussions, story telling sessions, various games, puppet show, street play, cultural activities, Yakshagana and programmes sharing information of girls’ education is organised under the Mela, he added.

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