Lotus Outreach - India - 2012
The Blossom Bus
Lotus Outreach is dedicated to ensuring the education, health and safety of at-risk and exploited women and children in the developing world.
The ALMT funded the Blossom Bus programme which bridges the chasm between parents’ legitimate concerns for their daughters’ safety and a girl’s right to education. By providing pioneering families with a bus and a parent chaperone to safely deliver their daughters to secondary school, the program helps delay the traditional Meo institution of childhood marriage and early childbearing. Giving these girls the chance to develop a sense of autonomy before motherhood, increases their capacity for social participation and leadership.
The scarcity of secondary schools, combined with conservative local attitudes toward female mobility, has terrible consequences for an adolescent girl in Mewat, India. If there is no school in her village she is forced to drop out. The immediate resource gap occurs in the form of transportation as few villages have secondary schools. Allowing a girl to travel alone is widely believed to be imprudent and therefore female education typically ends at the primary level. This low ceiling feeds into a downward spiral for the female population by diminishing the return on a girl’s schooling, increasing the likelihood of her ending up working in the fields or at home.