By Phoebe Weiss, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017

According to the last Census there are about 273 million people in India who cannot read. Of these 273 million women are 15% less likely than men to be illiterate. Because of this shocking statistic many women have less power in society and less opportunities to make a living. While walking the streets of India I came across many young girls working which means they were not attending school, and probably would never have the opportunity to.

Currently in a small Indian village a school was started called the aaijibaichi shala (the school for grandmothers) where older women have the opportunity to learn to read and write. None of the women who attend this school were able to attend as children because they were too busy with chores in their house or trying to make a living for their families. They attend this school for about 2 hours a day so that they are still able to perform their household routines and work.

I think this schooling platform has a lot of potential for expansion all throughout India and many other impoverished countries as well. Not only could it help provide these women with more opportunities but also it could help their children. If these women learn how to read in write they will be able to teach their kids, which will intern provide their children with greater opportunities.