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There are 224.6 million girl children in India under the age of 18 years. Out of which 58.6 million are between 14-18 years.

  • 25.6 million girls out of 58.6 million do not go to school#.
  • 1 in every 5 girls enrolled, drops out after class 8.
  • 12.5 million girls between 5-18 years are engaged in child labour.
  • 8.9 million out of the 12.15 million married children in India are girls.
  • 4,57,005 married girls under 14 years of age have already borne children.
Sources: Census 2011, # Based on Population Projection 2013-14, MHRD and Age-specific enrolment ratio, Unified-District Information System for Education (UDISE) 2013-14

Factors causing adolescent girls to drop out of schools:

Lack of secondary schools

Lack of schools in or around villages is the primary reason for girls quitting education. Families, fearing for their daughters' safety, often force them to leave their education if the school is at a distance. Lack of public transport in these areas also adds to their woes. The schools that do exist in these areas lack basic amenities and boundary walls. This, along with the lack of support from teachers, stands in the way of a girl child's education.

Discrimination against the girl child

Gender bias among children is one of the biggest barriers in universalising elementary education. At the national level, the number of girls enrolled in schools is lesser compared to the number of boys. The drop-out rate amongst adolescent girls also remains high at 63.5%.
Girls are considered more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and are often kept back from school. They are, instead asked to do household chores like taking care of siblings, cleaning the house and cooking for the family.

Lack of separate/ functioning toilets for girls

Schools in remote villages usually don't have separate or functioning toilets. Which results in a lack of security and privacy for girls. This is one of the key causes of girls dropping out of school.

Child Labour

India has 33 million working children between the ages of 5-18 years. In parts of the country, more than half the child population is engaged in labour. (Census 2011)

Child Marriage

Girl children are often subject to early marriages. The health problems associated with this are numerous. Early pregnancies not only carry with them a high risk of abortion but can also seriously affect a child's health.