Many have lived in government-run homes for years, with no chance of going home to their families. They’ve missed so much education they can’t enrol in school.
Without an education, the best future they can hope for is to find a husband who won’t beat or rape them. Others risk becoming one of India’s 20 million sex workers.
Nearly two thirds of adolescent girls in India drop out of school before they should. 1 in 5 marry before they’re 15 years old.
If a girl is denied her right to an education, she’ll miss out on the knowledge and skills she needs to fulfil her potential, protect herself from exploitation and take control of her own life.
We’re sending teachers and counsellors into India’s children’s homes to find these forgotten girls.
Each girl gets her own key worker - that trustworthy, caring, responsible grown-up she’s been waiting for - perhaps all her life.
With individual attention, tutoring and a lot of encouragement, we can get these girls into school, even if they’ve never been before.
We draw up an education and training plan for each girl and help her find her own path - whether that’s vocational training, academic education or both.
Rani has become my best friend. She understands me as I am and she had educated me about the world outside the girls’ home. I don’t have a real family but I have found my big sister in Rani.Read Jyoti's story
Photography: Sujata Khanna for Railway Children