Nisha – Motivated to study

19 Feb
Sirmour-Nisha-DeviPadh-Likh kar sabse pehle Naukri krke apne parivar ko paalna hai” (I want to a study and after I want a job and take care my family.)   17 year old girl Nisha Devi expressed her desire. She is studying in BA 1st semester in history. She is one of the beneficiaries of Jagori Rural Charitable Trust scholarship program called “Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education” by getting financial support to continue her higher education.
She was studying in primary level when her father died of a heart attack. She was too young to understand the situation then but now she understands the hardness of life personally as well as socially. Her father was a farmer and the family depends on agriculture productions. After struggling with the time & situations, her mother now working as an Anganwadi (Kindergarten) worker and taking care of her 4 children.
Nisha is the only child of her family to go to the level of graduation even after her elder sisters studied up to Class 12. It was her motivation that took her to college. Due to unavailability of road at her place she crosses halfway on foot with her friends to catch the bus. It makes her daily college routine very tough i.e. from 7 am to 6 pm. She also helps her family in household works even after coming back.
Her aim is to become a teacher. She is studying hard in her studies. She has passed 12th class with 61% marks. Her educational expenses are done with the help of scholarship. She has to pay Rs. 2000 (US$35) as semester registration fee for every 6 months and Rs. 1200 (US$25) for books. Her monthly bus travel costs are around Rs. 350 (US$6). The scholarship program is really a great support for her.

Luxmi – juggling a life a school and home

19 Feb

Sirmour-Luxmi“Padhna toh hai par ghar me bhi kaam hai woh bhi karna padta ha” (I want to study but I have also have to work at home)

Luxmi – who is 15 years old shared this with seriousness. She is studying in 10th class and dedicatedly preparing for her board exams. She is one of the beneficiaries of Jagori Rural Charitable Trust scholarship program called “Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education” and getting financial support to continue her education.

Luxmi’s farmer father died in a car accident 3 years back. After that, her mother holds all the responsibility of her family. Luxmi is the youngest child and has also to work hard in the fields and unable to put lots of effort in her studies. She also does daily household works due to bad health of her mother.
She is the only member of the family among her 4 sisters to continue education after Grade 10 . She goes school in intervals due to household works. This affects her studies.

Her family is dependent on daily wages from labour works. Her mother is managing all her expense with the daily wages and by taking help from relatives. Luxmi is able to continue her studies with the support of this scholarship program.

Pushplata – A dream of becoming a Policewoman!

16 Feb

Sirmour-PushplataMe toh Police me jana chahti hun, or eskeliye me mehnat bhi kr rahi hun”  (I want to join the Police so I am working hard towards this)!

Pushplata said these words with a great enthusiasm. She is studying in 10+1 class with Arts stream. She is a beneficiary of  Jagori Rural Charitable Trust scholarship program called “Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education”. This scholarship means a lot to her life.

5 years back her father who was small contractor died in a car accident. Her family was surviving – just. Her uncle came forward to support her to continue her education. He also helped her to get admission in a good school nearby her uncle’s house. Not even this, the villagers also supported her family to get education.

“Jo woh karna chahey woh kare, hum uske sath hain” (She can do what she wants, we will support her) said Pushplata’s mother in support of her studies even with these misfortunes. Puspalata also participated in training provided by the Jagori Grameen in Dharamshala. This training program helped her to set the goal of become a Police officer for the social reforms.

Her mother works as a daily wage Labour & an Aganwadi (Kindergarten)  helper . Pushplata’s quarterly school fee is Rs 132 ($2) and admission fee is Rs 500 ($10)  along with books expenses Rs 1200 ($25). Her mother is able to manage all these expenses with the scholarship money


Kiran – Teacher or Historian?

11 Feb

Sirmour-Kiran-DeviKiran is a 19 years old girl from Ganog Panchayat, Block Sangrah and District Sirmour pursuing BA 1st semester in Histoy from Sangrah College. She is one of the beneficiaries of Jagori Rural Charitable Trust scholarship program called “Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education” which is providing financial support to help them to continue their education.

7 years back, her father who was a farmer died due to long illness. She was studying in 6th class at that time. With the support of her mother she could be able to continue her education. She is the only member of her family going for higher studies.

She is doing it hard studying as she is starting her day very early to reach the college and attend the classes. This makes her daily college routine from 7 am to 6 pm. She also helps her family in household work even after coming back. But in exam time, she used to travel halfway on foot and then catch the bus only due to non-availability of bus in a daytime.

“Log toh bolte hain, woh toh bolte hi rahenge or unko bolne do” says Shushila indicates the community pressure for marriage or against her education. But her focus is only to accomplish the aim of her mother.

She studied hard by completing 12th with 52% marks and puts more effort for the graduation. She opted history subject to understand about the cultures & practices of all around the world. She would like to teach or may become good historian in future.

Her education expenses are Rs 2000 (U$40) as semester registration fee of every 6 months and Rs 3000 (US$50) approx. on books. Her monthly bus travel fair is around Rs 3500 (US$60). Due to long bus travel she has to manage other miscellaneous expenses too. Her mother credits to manage all these expenses with the support of this scholarship program.

Ghar me hum sab padhe-likhe nahi hain, par mere bache jayada-se-jayada paadhe” Kiran’s mother proudly said these words with a motive to bring a change in her family.

Committed partners

14 Aug

Ekno Experience/ Travels have proudly partnered with Jagori Rural Charitable Trust (a non-profit organization) located in Rakkar, Dharamsala, India to raise funds for the Haimalayan Daughters Rise for Education Scholarship.

The primary purpose of the Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education Scholarship program is to fund the education of selected girls from minority groups in India’s north. This is unlike the fellowship program where the selected girls also have the opportunity to work in their communities on a daily basis. With this scholarship program, we hope to reach out to various remote districts of Himachal Pradesh, such as Chamba and Lahaul-Spiti, where there are adverse indicators for girls’ higher education.

As part of the Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education scholarship program, the selected girls will meet twice a year in small groups with Jagori team members for orientation on issues of gender equality, gender justice and empowerment. These workshops will support and enhance girls’ formal education with life-skill training to prepare them as aware and entitled full citizens.

Program Objectives

  • To support young girls, who are primarily from socially and economically deprived backgrounds and belong to marginalized communities in rural areas of Himachal Pradesh, with their educational goals.
  • To provide young girls an opportunity to become self-confident, self-assertive and aware of gender equality issues.
  • To identify candidates from the pool of scholarship awardees, who show interest in working for the empowerment of other girls and community members, for award of fellowship positions either within Jagori or with similar organizations in their respective provinces.

Jagori Grameen are committed to the cause of building a just and equitable society. Their engagement with the community addresses all forms of discrimination based on gender, class, caste, religion, disability and all other forms of social exclusion. They seek to protect the individual and collective dignity of the most marginalized. With their long term experience and presence in the community, Jagori are increasingly realizing the relevance of supporting girls’ education to create a pool of educated women citizens, who can serve as role models for their families, communities and the nation. They are greatly encouraged by the success of our earlier fellowship program, which has provided us the impetus to expand the program of supporting the educational aspiration of girls. They propose to do that by awarding scholarships to help more girls complete their higher education.

Ekno has committed to raise funds internationally and provide help with the mentoring of the girls. Part of the proceeds from your travels will go towards this fund. Buy A Rising Scarf to raise funds for the cause.,




Himalayan Daughters Workshop and Mentoring Program 26-28 January 2015

2 Mar

The three day Himalayan Daughters Rising workshop conducted by Jagori Rural at their conference centre in Rakka Himachal Pradesh, India from 26 to 28 January. The girls, mainly adolescent, centered on gender, capacity building and reproductive health. The girls travelled up to 12 hours to attend their first ever workshop. As they come from very isolated areas, it was very exciting for them to leave home to attend the workshop.

While it was the first time away from home without their families, the girls were comfortable and open about themselves right from the start of the workshop, because of the essential time devoted in fun, play activities and simple, personal and meaningful conversations that bonded Jagori Rural team to the girls.

The understanding among the girls expanded much beyond their regular education till the end of the workshop as they became aware about their own bodily processes as far as menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and sexual health are concerned. They learnt how to take care of themselves and eat right during their menstrual cycles. Their perception of this biological monthly process changed from “it’s dirty and shameful” to “it’s natural and helps us”.

A balanced diet was insisted upon where the girls were told to remember the Indian flag and how their diet must contain all the flag colors, including blue for water. They were explained how to recognize an anemic person and how they can prevent or cure it. The girls listened intently as Jagori Rural Team shared how marriage must be a union between two people who are mature from body, mind and spirit, and must take place at the right age.

As any type of women’s health and sexual health is not taught in the home or schools, the girls had the most fun when, in order to tell them about condoms and its essential usage in their future lives, Jagori Rural Team made balloons out of condoms and gave them to the girls to play. The girls were able to talk about preventative measures of pregnancy and sexual diseases openly through his innovative step.

Another workshop is planned towards the end of the year.DSCN6124





Report of Achievements April to September 2014

18 Dec

The Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education as a project was envisaged as a collaborative project of Jagori Rural and Ekno Travel in the year 2012 in response to the felt needs of Girls from marginalized families from   Himachal Pradesh.

In the last ten years of our work, in the field area of nearly 110 villages for   girls and women’s empowerment, Jagori Rural activists observed that a large number of girls from remote rural mountainous areas are deprived of higher education, primarily due to socio economic constrains. The scholarship support programme needs to be seen within this context.

The main objectives of the programme are:

  1. Provide financial Support to young girls from under privileged and marginalized communities for higher education.
  2. Provide young women an opportunity to become self confident, self assertive and aware of gender equality issues.
  3. Provide fellowship awards and offer mentoring placements for young women who desire to become feminist activists.

However to identify deserving candidates, conducting interviews and finding a local organization to anchor the programme ,it took nearly one year of travel to remote sites as well as create collaborative principles to work together with the anchor organization to achieve the objectives stated above.

The report cycle April 14 to November 14

We are happy to share the first report of our achievements:

Under the project , 22 girls in total were selected from socio-economic marginalized families for supporting their education. These girls have been selected in 3 districts with the help of local organizations.


Pls see attached the map of Himachal Pradesh


Selected District No. of Girls Partner organsations
Sirmour 10 People’s Actions for People in Need-PAPN
Kangra 2 Jagori Rural


In Chamba and Sirmour Districts, local monitoring committees have been formed to monitor the project implementation. The members of these committees includes women leaders, senior citizens, retired teachers and principals etc.


Chamba District

Jagori Rural has a district level programme in collboration with Jagori Grameen Himat Sangathan, a local organization. On April 10, 2014, 16 girls came for the interview. Along with the local organization, Abha Bhaiya from Jagori and Sharon Thrup from Ekno Travels, interviewed the girls and heard the stories. Through this process, nine deserving girls from the District Chamba were selected under the project – Himalaya Daughters Rise for Education (HDRE).

Chamba-DistrictOn 15th August 2014, a meeting of all fellowship awardees was convened in the District Office of Jagori Grameen Himat Sanghtan, Chamba. The prime objective of this meeting was to provide the girls part of their fellowship money. This was to be required for all their education related expenses such as books, stationary, uniform etc. Pinki Devi, Dhani Devi and Neelam shared that they don’t have proper clothes and therefore they need to buy one pair of dress each.

The girls were explained that this stipend is for them to use and they can spend it on their tuition fee, copies, pens, school bags, etc. They must focus on their studies as the main purpose of providing this support   them to show excellence in their efforts.

The selected girls are also associated with a government programme SABLA for adolescent girls empowerment. They all attend the meeting of adolescent girls collectives in their respective villages. They also shared that they are called to Anganwadi center on a monthly basis where they are given nutritious food. The girls shared that this was an opportunity for them to come to Chamba, and also meet and connect with other girls. They were very happy to receive our help. Besides explaining to them how to maintain hygiene during menstruation, information about their education was also shared.

During the interaction, some other needs were also identified such as school uniform sweaters and school shoes. The shoe size of the girls and their preferred colour in sweaters was noted. In the month of September 2014, school shoes were provided.

In the month of September 2014, follow up meeting was held with the selected girls. They shared that the fellowship amount provided to them was spent on their education. The girls studying in tenth class submitted their fee requirement circular. They were equipped with school bags, copies, stationary and practical exams related material, a pair of shoes and a suit for daily wear.


A news report in a local paper (Headline reads Jagori Grameen will pay for nine female students in Chamba District)


Sirmour district

In the month of July 2014, Jyoti Seth from behalf of Jagori Rural and Sharon Thrup from Ekno Travels visited the Sirmour district. The selected girls were invited by the local partner organization an NGO “PAPN-people actions in people in need, 16 girls along with their mothers were given complete information about this program. Almost all girls shared their painful stories. The levels of poverty and extremely difficult socio economic backgrounds such as all from single parent families, were heart wrenching and it was obvious that without the support none of them are in a position to study FURTHER..   After the interview, a   total of 10 girls were selected in the month of august 2014. A list of their requirements was prepared in consultation with the girls and their mothers.

  1. notebooks
  2. shoes and umbrella
  3. School fee
  4. Lunch box
  5. School bag/sweater
  6. Help book/examination master
  7. Expense for medicines, etc

Subsequently, ten school bags were provided to the girls. On September 14, a gathering was convened for the girls where their mothers, as well as one member of the organization and retired school teacher participated.

In addition, in same month, half day awareness session was conducted on personal hygiene, menstruation cycle, sexual harassment, rape. The girls were able to continue their education. They were made aware of their health issues and were given a platform to discuss their problems.

On September 14, the July-Aug school fee for the girls along with an amount of Rs. 500 was given and the bills and receipts were obtained from them.

Kangra District

In the Kangra District, two girls one from Nepali community and one from dalit family have been provided scholarship on monthly basis. They also participated actively in the Kishori-Kishor utsav (Adolscent Girls Fairs).

In addition, nearly 12 applications have been received.

It is proposed to hold the interview in the month of December 2014 and start the scholarship for the selected girls from January 2015.

In the month of February 2015 it is proposed to hold the hold a three day workshop for all the girls on gender and empowerment at the Jagori centre – TARA. This will provide them an opportunity to live and learn together.

In the end we extend our appreciation of your support that has made this possible. Your support will significantly contribute to the development of the girls and create new possibilities for them to realize their dreams.

Raising funds for our Project in country Australia!

29 Oct


A group of ladies from Orange in country New South Wales, Australia got together for a fundraising evening to raise funds for the Himalayan Daughters project. They are part of a group of friends that are travelling to India in early November and wanted to give back,

As part of the Himalayan Daughters initiative, people purchase a Rising Scarf and the ladies did just that. They bought one for themselves and several others as presents for friends. They raised a total of A$726 or IR37,750 for the project which will help sponsor 3 girls for the year. Well done to Penny and her friends for helping the girls.

If you would also like to hold a fundraising evening, please contact us on




Stars on the ground

27 Jun

Himalayan Daughters Rise for Education
Educating and Empowering Young Girls/Women of the Indian Himalayas

A story of young lives lost!

17 Jun


Meet 3 sisters from the Chamba Valley, remote northern India. The eldest sister is Prito Devi who is 23 years old, Dhani Devi, 13 years old and is Class 8 at school. Pinki Devi and is 11 years old and is in class 6. They are what as known as ‘orphans’. Not in technically as we know it, they have a mother but their father is dead. Their mother abandoned them 7 years ago after the father’s death and remarried. Prito Devi was 16 at the time and the youngest Pinki was only 3 years old. They have grown up since then, in many ways. They have it tough. They live in their old family house which is made of mud and is falling down. The only income that the 3 sisters is just over $20 per month (IR1000) through a part time job that the eldest sister, Prito Devi has. This is not enough for food and clothing for the 3 of them.

Prito Devi, married 4 years ago, has a 2 ½ year old daughter and is now separated from her husband and her daughter. Her husband continues to live with his family and has taken her daughter to live with them. Prito Devi does not have access to visit her daughter.

Their story is one of heart break and suffering. Their innocent lives lost to poverty through the death of their father at such an early age. The struggle of the eldest sister to keep food in the youngest mouths, of having dignity of keeping her sisters clean and tidy with the little they have. To see the loss of innocence through and suffering is heartbreaking and to see pain in their eyes and the weight of the world on their shoulders through not having enough.

The youngest 2 girls go to school, just. They are keen to keep studying but the pressure of lack of money may force them out of school and marry against their will as it did with the eldest sister. She is determined that the youngest –Dharni and Pinki (who would like to go on and become teachers) should continue with their studies, but need help to do so. They have each other but need money to continue to fund their education so they will be able to support themselves in the future. Without help there is no future!