Although there is a huge and growing appetite for greater education in India, girls are still getting a raw deal. In the state of Bihar, for example, a large proportion of girls simply don’t bother with school and are often married off to older men, often suffering violence and abuse as a result. The Mahila Samakhya schools have been created to change that. Learning skills such as karate, how to ride a bike and weaving, as well as the traditional subjects, girls learn to fend for themselves and earn a living. This film joins Sharmila, a 25 year old dalit, or untouchable, who 9 years ago could not read or write. Now she can do all of that and more. She owns her own house and land, helping her family, and teaching young girls who will go on to attend a Mahila Samakhya school.
Part of a 28 x 25-minute documentary series produced for the BBC.