The percentage of out-of-school girls is 51.1% in Tharparkar (ASER Pakistan). Female illiteracy is one of the major issues in Tharparkar along with scorching hot days, drought, malnourishment, poverty, child marriages, and lack of basic necessities. Tharparkar, the largest district of Sindh, is one of the most deprived and vulnerable districts of Pakistan. The members of this community don’t have proper shelters, they usually live-in adobe houses. The major population of Tharparkar consists of the Hindu community. Unfortunately, the caste system still exists in the Hindu community and the people living in this area are considered “low caste”. For this reason, they face discrimination.
Most of the families work in Thar coal mines and usually rehabilitate to different areas in Thar in search of earning opportunities. Since the families don’t even have access to clean drinking water and food, their main priority is arranging food and clean drinking water. Education of their children especially girls, takes the last spot on their priority list.
To provide education to this marginalized and vulnerable community, PAGE Pakistan has created STAR Schools in this area. STAR schools provide education free of cost to the children especially girls of this community. An individual from the same Hindu community who is literate is picked out as a teacher for the children. The teacher from the same community helps in facilitating and empowering the children.
PAGE Pakistan has a total of 09 schools in Tharparkar. Fatima Zaman has stepped up to sponsor and fundraise the Village Jaman Samoon STAR school which has a total of 42 students enrolled. The number of girls is 14 while the number of boys is 28. The majority of the students come from families whose head of the household work in Thar Coal mines and make minimal money. They are hardly able to provide three meals a day to the families.