The day I completed my undergraduate studies was a joyous day for me.
This milestone that I’d passed has been something I have dreamed about since I was 10 years old. At that age, never did I think my gender could have prevented me from accessing this dream in the very way it does for many girls around the world today, especially in India.
A cycle persists in many parts of India where girls are subject to being married at young ages or sold into sex slavery. In order to end this tumultuous cycle, The Girl Store was created.
Not Your Typical Kiosk
It’s not your typical online store; instead it is a place where you can “purchase” a young girl her life back so that she may have the opportunity to obtain an education by supporting her with the items that she needs to go to school.
Sponsored by the K.C. Mahindra Education Trust and the Naandi Foundation under the project Nanhi Kali, the purpose of the Girl Store is to increase the percentage of girls who complete Grade 10 as currently “only 3 out of 10 girls who enroll in grade one complete Grade 10.”
Check out this video: Nanhi Kali
To Buy A Life
You may wonder what comes with the “purchase” of a girl child from India. The products are much the same as what you had as a child: pencils, backpack, uniform, workbooks, shoes, math tools, lunch box, and a tutor. I would further argue that with the purchase comes a lifetime worth of smiles.
When you visit the online shop you are greeted with a striking [though solemn] motion activated store with several girls who are in need of various items. The girls shown on the shop page seem to serve as models for the plethora of young ladies who have received help and are in need of assistance. Those who have been helped can be seen here and a short insight into who they are can be discovered by clicking on their pictures.
The Girl Store serves as the manifestation of the Nanhi Kali project whereby “nanhi kali” means flower bud. The Nanhi Kali wesbite shares information about the project and how you can help by sponsoring a child (which differs from the option of purchasing individual items in The Girl Store for those who wish to purchase specific items).
How to Get Involved
If you’re wondering how to sponsor a young girl and receive a photo along with progress reports visit the Nanhi Kali website for detailed information in their frequently asked questions (FAQs) section.
If you are in the United States, you can visit the Girl Store’s physical location launched in January 2011 in New York City near East 47th Street and Lexington Avenue.
With projects like Nanhi Kali we can look forward to seeing more communities transformed through the power of education which enables individuals to seek opportunities beyond the boundaries of their homesteads to impact out world especially for little girls whose dreams are hindered because of their family being too poor.
The Girl Store helps us achieve the goal. The goal to empower girls and make them influential members of society through the power of education.
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