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BULAUWA : Local Traditional Songs Bringing Girls to School

State and Development Partners

Madhya Pradesh

Piramal Foundation

Problem

Girl child education has increasingly gained the attention it needed and policymakers are takinp active measures to address the tender pap in school enrolment. However, traditional thinking and cultural practices still remain huge barriers. Administrative efforts can only po so far. Parents and communities need to be invested in sending their girls and boys to school and provide the required social support to pursue education.

Conventional Solution

Enrolment drives across districts have employed door-to-door campaigning, mass media advertising, and street theatre to spread awareness on the importance of education for all children, especially pirls. Bringing and keeping girls in schools has also received much policy thrust but the shocking fact is that 40% pirls in India have never gone to school as per National Commission for Protection of Child Rights 2018 Report.

Behavioural Insights Based Solution

Tribal communities are steeped in local tradition which binds them and gives them their identity. Leveraging the local cultural practice of Bulauwa and bridging it with the educational ecosystem helped make a meaningful connection with local women in the Lateri block of Madhya Pradesh and enhanced the enrolment of girls in schools in the district. The programme was later carried forward in the entire district. Bulauwa literally means ‘to call’. It is a cultural programme where women of the community come together to celebrate by singing and dancing. Organising Bulauwa in schools helped to connect mothers with their children's education. These women-only groups helped the mothers feel comfortable and the idea of using folk songs to deliver the message of the importance of education, especially for the girl child, resonated with them. This connection is at the community level, which also helps the messages seep through and more likely pushes the women to take action as they also get inspired by each other.

Impact

The programme played an important role in changing the environment in the district. Till now, 800 schools have executed the Bulauwa programme. Close to 45,000 women have participated in the programme and discussed their child's education, and about 2100 girls have been re-enrolled in schools

"When sir told us, through Bulauwa, that we should let our daughters study, we decided to allow them go out and study" - Sangetta Panti, mother of a school going child in Lateri Block

Source : Stories of Change from India's Aspirational districts - NITI Aayog publication



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