After receiving appreciation over their decision to relax marriage norms, khaps have now taken up another positive step by uniting to arrest the girl dropout rate in rural areas. They will prepare village-level data and then counsel parents to allow girls continue with their studies.
In a meeting between leaders of Satrol khap, Rathee khap, Nogama khap and Meham Chaubishi at Bibipur village of Jind district, it was decided to launch a campaign in this regard after deliberating on the causes on which girls were forced to quit studies at school level.
Sunil Jaglan, sarpanch of Bibipur village and a prominent leader of Nogama khap, told HT that two main reasons behind girl dropout rate were security concern and lack of transportation as most villages were located on link roads.
He said all the khap leaders have vowed to mobilise their manpower in preparing village-wise data within khap jurisdiction of the number of girls, who were forced to leave school due to any reason.
Satrol khap president retired Subedar Inder Singh said despite a change in the perception among villagers, who seek quality education for girl child, education is often denied to them for want of proper security while going to educational institute and due to lack of transportation facility.
He said under the prevailing "negative" environment towards women safety, kin concern over their security is genuine.
Regarding the solution, they said after creating a data bank of girls, who had to quit studies after matriculation and senior secondary level, they would approach parents with an offer of social support if they have security issues and provide funds if they can't afford private transportation to school or college.
Interestingly, it was for the first time that khap representatives had wielded pen and submitted their recommendations in written, contrary to their verbal understanding on taking stand on social issues.
On this occasion, from Satrol khap, retired Subedar Inder Singh, Capt Mahabir Singh and women wing president Sudesh; and from Rathee khap, Dr Ranbir Singh Rathee; Tulshi Grewal from Meham Chaubishi, Sunil Jaglan from Nogama khap, retired district education officer Ram Bhagat Sharma and several others were present.
In mid-April, Satrol khap took a historic decision by relaxing marriage norms within 42 villages under its jurisdiction to counter marriage match problem.
Sangwan khap and Sheoran khap followed suit and announced that they may also take a similar decision in view of similar demands.
Nogama khap introduced 'Khap Ki Paathsala', an initiative to apprise people of the significance of khaps and their real purpose.
Satrol khap created a women wing and appointed its first president to take up women-related issues in the right earnest.