Photo Exhibition: empowering adolescent girls in rural villages

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A two day photo exhibition was organised in the villages Hosavaranchi (on Jun 7-8) and Attiguppe (May 31-Jun 1), in Mysore district, to showcase to the community the learning of adolescent girls who participate in the 'Kishori Chitrapata' (Images by Adolescent Girls) Project, a collaborative intervention of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA), 'Mahila Samakhya' (Women of Equal Value) Karnataka (a women's empowerment intervention of the Government of India), UNICEF and IT for Change. The project aims to contribute to girls' empowerment through Information and Communication Technologies like videos, audio recorders, digital camera and computers.

The event was attended by community leaders and organised by 'sangha' women who manage the 'Namma Mahiti Kendra' (Our Information Centres), also established by IT for Change in partnership with Mahila Samakhya. Sangha women are the support structure for these adolescent girls to facilitate their learning.

Kaveri, Manjula, Reetha are some of the 15-20 year old girls from rural areas who had to drop out of school to go for sheep grazing, to marry or to take care of the household, among other reasons. Their mobility was restricted to a couple of streets in the village due to their condition as girls and their belonging to a certain caste. Over the course of learning photography through digital camera, they shot pictures in other places, including agriculture fields and upper caste streets and homes. With the involvement and the support of the community, these girls started a process of re-visiting their own place as well as their role to show their realities through photos and videos.

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