Article on Vidhya Das published in Aljajeera

Kashipur, India – In a large, airy classroom in the village of Kashipur in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, there unfolds a scene rich in contrasts and ironies. A reading and writing class for the five-year-olds of prathama sreni, or first grade, proceeds alongside a parent-teacher meeting.

The children are all girls, for this is a primary school run by a local NGO, Agragamee, exclusively for girls from Scheduled Tribe or Scheduled Caste families – those groups, collectively making up about a fourth of India’s population, marked out by the Indian constitution as in need of special assistance from the state.
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