Mahila Mukti Sanstha (MMS), founded in 1994, is a grassroots organization in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, India. They focus on addressing various local issues, including gender-based violence, child marriages, dowry deaths, and trafficking of women and children. MMS provides safe spaces for girls to learn about topics like immunization, family planning, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. The organization also leads awareness campaigns on these topics. In 2022, MMS’s programs served over 800 girls in 24 villages. Local girls participated in plays, sports programs, and leadership training to develop interpersonal skills, confidence, and knowledge on topics pertinent to their daily lives. Girls also engaged in advocacy activities, including a 16-day campaign to end gender-based violence.
The Girls Opportunity Alliance Fund will support MMS’s initiatives in the Hazaribagh district. Specifically, MMS will create “Girls Groups” in 20 villages, recruiting girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years old for monthly workshops on topics like SRHR, gender-based violence, leadership development, and other skills training. MMS will also offer extracurricular activities—including debate, art, and sports—and host competitive events to showcase girls’ skills. Additionally, MMS will create a program to support 50 girls who have dropped out of school. The program will teach these girls to operate auto-rickshaws, helping them find a source of income. Furthermore, MMS will continue engaging in community awareness and advocacy. They will host awareness-raising campaigns around key moments like International Day of the Girl and International Women’s Day. They will also organize district-wide workshops involving local leaders, NGOs, and community influencers to address SRHR, child marriage, and girls’ rights.
The objectives of these activities are to develop girls’ leadership skills, help girls who have dropped out of school become self-reliant, and raise awareness about girls’ rights and needs. These efforts are part of MMS’s long-term goal to end the practice of child marriages in Hazaribagh’s 50 villages by 2030.