2016-08-005Manoj Rathore, a young man of eighteen, had a question: If women had rights on papers, when would these rights translate into reality?

Now, consider this for a moment: In spite of every India’s stellar Right to Education, 1 out of 5 girls in India drops out of school because education is not considered ‘necessary’ for her.

“I had observed that a seven year old girl in my community didn’t go to school, but her brother did. In the Action for Equality Programme I’ve learnt that every person has the right to education. So why not her?” says Manoj, a Leadership programme participant. Identifying injustice, he was determined to stand up for the little girl’s rights.

“I approached her mother and asked her why she wasn’t sending her daughter to school. Her mother, who worked as a house help in our neighbourhood, said her daughter was more of a help to her at work than in school. I tried to have a dialogue to persuade her to send her daughter to school.” And he did. Not once. Not twice. But everyday single day for a month.

“After a month, her mother finally agreed to send her to school. I was overjoyed by the news!” Manoj not only enrolled the little girl in a public school but also checks on her progress every day.

Young men like Manoj have the potential to stand up for women’s rights and be allies in our fight to end violence and discrimination against women. We need your support to work with more young men each year, where examples of men like Manoj are no longer unique but become a norm.

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