Bengaluru: Kanyavaani is envisaged as a one-stop centre-cum-helpline at district level to motivate, facilitate, enable and empower girls. The centre supports girls and young women in pursuing education and skill development programmes leading to livelihood opportunities, and avert common challenges that are often a hindrance in achieving their full potential like child marriages, domestic violence etc. Currently, a centre has been set up in district headquarters by the Garhwa District Administration under SCA scheme in partnership with Tattva Foundation at an annual project cost of under Rs 5.5 lacs. This note covers aspects which can be incorporated in any new initiative around this theme.

Background: According to a report released by the department of health & family welfare in May 2018, Garhwa district recorded 58.8% cases of child marriage which is second highest among all districts of Jharkhand. Female literacy rate of the district stands at 47.58 % against national & state average of 65.46% & 55.42% as per 2011 census. 

Child marriage and Domestic issues: Girls and young women often face challenges like child marriage and various domestic issues which lead to poor participation in higher education and livelihood activities. Frontline Government workers like ANMs, school teachers, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers etc, despite being an active support structure at village level, are often unsuccessful in intervening and resolving issues of this nature. This is because these frontline workers are unwilling to go the extra mile to avoid backlash or boycott, and understandably so, from communities they have to continue working with and have had long term working relationships with. Hence, there was a need for a helpline where issues of this nature could be discreetly reported without fear of community backlash of any form.

Livelihoods: Current skill development programmes are largely focused on only 2 aspects of skilling – Number of girls/ candidates who joined training programmes and number that got a placement right away. However, there is much more to the entire process and there is a need for end-to-end tracking with regular follow-ups, keeping in mind social constraints that girls often face leading to greater possibility of drop out. Following are various stages which need to be monitored:

1.    First Contact to identify possible interests: Generally, girls indicate preference for common choices which they observe in their day-to-day lives. In our experience so far, Girls largely preferred jobs like Nursing/ ANM, teaching and sometimes tailoring and computer training. However, these options are often limited and girls need to be counselled around other possibilities where better opportunities might be, to come to an informed decision. Also, the right fit based on girls’ location, convenience and even family preferences to attend the right training programme are also considered. While a residential programme in state capital might be more appealing to a candidate from remote tribal areas, a candidate residing closer to district headquarters might be more likely to opt for a training locally.

2.    Ensuring successful completion of application process: Helpline maintains regular contact with the girl to motivate her and ensure that application process is completed.

3.    Tracking if the candidate joins the programme: Even after successfully completing application process, girls do not appear when the programme starts. Helpline keeps a track of this and motivates both girls and guardians to ensure candidate joins the programme that she applied for.

4.    Follow up on training completion regarding placement: Skill development programmes are often viewed not as a platform to pursue serious livelihood opportunities but as hobbies. Kanyavaani also motivates candidates to pursue economic activities after pursuing skill development programmes.

5.    Follow up for case closure: Follow-up is required at every step to prevent dropouts due to lack of motivation, minor to even very serious challenges candidates might be facing.
Critical enablers for programme success:

1.    Kanyavaani Volunteers: Secondary schools, colleges, skill Development centres nominate a student as Kanyavaani volunteer who can act as single point of contact for that institution, bring forward grievances and encourage peers to interact with the helpline.

2.    Availability of contact information: Contact information of students recently graduated from schools is often not available with schools. 

3.    Integration with various other programmes/ platforms like SMCs, State Livelihood Missions, ASHAs, anganwadis, child protection etc. as well as non-government stakeholders in the District.

4.    Priority Grievance Redressal monitoring at District Level: Grievances in District priority, for example, Child marriages in Garhwa’s case can be monitored weekly by DC.

5.    Human Resources: A dedicated district coordinator with 2 helpline executive staff are required to support the district in running this initiative.

6.    Advocacy for programmes of girls’ interest at district level: There are often skill development programmes for which there is demand from girls and young women but not enough programmes. For example, in Garhwa an extra batch for ‘Jewellery Design’ was organised by RSETI based on demand for it from the helpline.

Achievement so far:

Successful Skill Development Referrals



Data Entry

Jewellery Design

ANM Training

Child Marriage

Domestic Violence









Successful Case 1: Garhwa Block – Dowry

Girl had been engaged to be married for 2 years but the marriage was not being done due to demand of dowry. The family decided to marry her off with someone else but were being threatened by first prospective groom. Case was brought to light to Kanyavaani by the girl’s sister-in-law. Helpline executives facilitated the family to approach police station. Matter is now resolved, girl’s family was no longer harassed by the family and girl got married to a different groom.

Successful Case 2: Meral Block – Domestic Violence

Victim's husband was an alcoholic and she was a victim of domestic violence and harassment by husband’s family for begetting only daughters so far. She contacted 100 but did not get any response, after which she contacted Kanyavaani Helpline. The executives counselled the couple and the violence has stopped. Helpline also did follow up calls to the family to ensure that there is no more violence. 

Successful Case 3: Ramna Block – Health Emergency

Girl had been referred by district hospital to a private facility. However, she did not fully understand what she was supposed to do and where she was supposed to go. In a lot of discomfort, she called Kanyavaani Helpline in early hours of a Sunday morning. Helpline executives coordinated with district health department to clarify and ensure she reached the right facility and get timely treatment.

Successful Case 4: Meral Block – Education Fees

Girl was being asked to pay an inflated registration fee of Rs 3500 for 12th class school registration. She contacted the helpline which with education department’s support ensured that the girl get charged the actual fair fee only.

Successful Case 5: Bhandaria Block – Child marriage

A teacher received the wedding invitation card of a girl who was studying in his school. The girl was 11 years old and a student of standard 5th. Upon receiving the invitation card, the teacher immediately called on the Kanyavaani helpline and informed the executive with the details of the girl child. The matter was immediately taken to the DC who later instructed the concerned block officials and marriage was averted.