iData staff (https://idataresearch.com/about-us/) along with Pebbles to Pearls Foundation (https://www.pebblestopearlsfoundation.ca), are currently co-visiting Barli Institute for Rural Development in India to gain insight into the projects they are sponsoring for the development of children, junior youth, and especially girls.
To be accepted into the institute, girls must come from the most marginalized and forgotten castes, be illiterate, and hail from slums or tribal villages in India where they would typically be married off by age 12. In addition to their willingness to succeed, these girls need parental consent to delay marriage until at least age 18. After acceptance, each cohort of 75 girls undergoes a health check to eliminate hair lice and internal parasites in the first two weeks. Over the next three months, the girls learn how to read and write in the local language, followed by English and practical skills such as farming, sewing, cooking, and basic bookkeeping to become educators and help their families and neighbors upon their return to their village. Parents only consent to send their girls to Barli if they commit to returning to their village. In some cases, girls have continued their education with parental consent, completing high school, undergrad, masters, and even pursuing a PhD.
This visit has taught us that facilitating education and service to others with a global vision is the most effective way to eradicate poverty and address imbalances in humanity. Attached are images of the visit to the Barli Institute:
Real-Life Stories of Transformation:
Kali was born in a tribal household in Alirajpur and contracted polio as a child. Born a girl, poor, and now disabled, she had three strikes against her before she was twelve. However, her life changed when she attended the Barli Institute’s six-month training course. Now, she reads and writes, owns a tailoring shop, and earns enough money to not only support herself but also to pay for the education of all the children in her family. She has taken the initiative to form a ‘micro-financing group to help 12 other women grow their own businesses. She has also purchased a red scooter and has fitted it so that she can get around more easily. While we were visiting her village, her father approached us and said, “Thank you for supporting the education of my daughter. She is now a source of inspiration for all the girls in our village, and all the fathers and mothers want their daughters to be like Kali.”
“I was ridiculed in my village for my dwarfism and handicap. That is why I used to stay mostly indoors. I was very afraid to meet people…” One day, a friend told Nanudi’s parents about the Barli Institute and they decided to enroll her. Nanudi is currently in Barli’s six month training and is blossoming into her potential. She is determined to learn reading and writing and is excelling at stitching and tailoring. After graduation, Nanudi wants to set up a stitching shop in her village and motivate other girls to find their path in life.