Elementary School, Garol, Muzaffarpur, Bihar: The Elementary School, Garol has fairly high enrolment in Classes 1 and 2 and again in Classes 6,7 and 8. The school had a new room built under the additional funds provided by the NPEGEL. UNICEF supported the establishment of a MEENA Manch and the teachers were very supportive of the initiative. The girls were also excited by the space and importance this platform provided them. They gathered together at regular intervals and used the small library of MEENA and other books to learn about their rights and. They also used the opportunity to create new songs and poems that captured their own stories.
The girls were aware of the legal age of marriage and had also managed to stop the marriage of an underage girl in their neighbourhood. They went and informed the Auxilliary Nurse cum Midwife (ANM) of the village who mobilized support from among the villagers to persuade the parents to stop the marriage. Another girl, Anju Kumari from the Meena Manch herself negotiated with her parents and other family members to hold back her marriage so that she could complete her school education.
Anju said that she had found the courage to broach the topic with her family and to take a firm stand regarding her own life and aspirations due to the support from the other girls in the Manch.
Meena Manch also supported Ruby Rani, who participated in sports at the District level to seek a scholarship for further studies and sports. Ruby Rani was already studying at the nearby secondary school but her family was finding it very difficult to continue to support her. The Meena Manch is helping her in her efforts to find Government support for excellence in sports.
The nearby Primary School at Islampur also have an active Meena Manch. The group here is very enthusiastic about helping those children who were not yet enrolled to pick up literacy skills. They formed groups and held classes for these children in the evenings.