About the Fundraiser
16-year-old Khushi (name changed) has lived in the same slum neighborhood her whole life. She wants to be a school principal one day. Her parents believe that girls have to be married one day, and a lot of dowry has to be paid for them. So any money spent on her education, healthcare, or nutrition is eating into her dowry money. They also believe that once she is married, she will be someone else’s responsibility, and for that reason they need not get too attached to her. This is not the story of just one girl, this is the story of millions of girls in India, many thousands of whom live in the slums of Delhi where Protsahan works. Encouraging them to do more Protsahan was started in 2010 to support girls like Khushi. While her parents wanted to marry her at the age of 13, Protsahan stepped in and ensured that Khushi and more than 100 other girls like her have a fighting chance to change their lives, and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and abuse through education. All they need is a little encouragement, love, and a safe space to grow. Protsahan’s programs are designed to work closely with girls from slum neighborhoods through creativity and technology. Every year, more than 100 girls learn digital photography, film-making, classical dance, theater, folk arts, martial arts etc. at our main center in the slums of Delhi. The girls are also trained in basic computing skills, and frequently use available laptops and tabs at Protsahan’s center to Google search for relevant study material and video tutorials in science, mathematics, arts, menstrual hygiene management, preventing abuse, and protecting themselves from abuse. All these activities help ensure that the girls develop life-skills and some livelihood skills in the process, and maintain a high level of engagement in their school education as well. The outcomes of such creativity led programs have been amazing. All of the girls of Protsahan appearing for board exams cleared with excellent scores, some scoring as high as 80-90% in most subjects. 88% of the girls we work with every year now have access to higher education, and have shown an improvement of 84% in their annual school scores. Those above the age of 18 are not married off by their families, and have instead found employment opportunities in fields of their respective interests such as photography, clay art studio, fashion industry, etc.