Helping attitude of school going girl children towards family: A study in selected rural areas of Almora, Uttarakhand
The helping and subdued nature of young girls in many cases, has resulted in getting less facilities at home compared to male children. In certain circumstances girl children are compelled to help their mothers at home even if they are attending school resulting in poor performance in studies. Many girls realise and feel the rising workload of mothers, and wilfully help them on family/household work even when attending school. Hence, a study was undertaken, in selected rural areas of Almora district in Uttarakhand, to ascertain the role of school going girl children towards their family (particularly mothers) while continuing their everyday schooling. Further the study assessed the attitudinal change of parents with regards to education, status and income in the family.
The study comprised interviews of 300 school going girl children girl (sampled from four blocks) within the age group 6 to 18 years, categorised into (a) Below 5th: children who study below 5th class, (b) Below 10th: children who study between 6th to 10th class, (c) Below 12th: children who study between 11th to 12th class, and (d) Drop-out: children who have left school after enrolment. Among them, majority (96.15%) favoured higher education, i.e. up to Graduation and above. Majority of the parents, particularly mothers, expressed their willingness to educate their daughters; further, majority parents possessing some level of education reflected a positive attitude towards educating their daughters, and even granted freedom to decide the stream of education and higher education. However, some parents who were not in favour of higher education for girls, indicated economic constraints as reason for their opposition. The study showed that majority (41.00%) of the children’s parents were in the lower middle income group, followed by 31.33% in upper middle income group, 16.67% in upper income group and least 11.00% in lower income group. In general, parents of lower middle income group and above (i.e. income Rs 5000 and higher) supported their children towards higher school education.
The survey also assessed the type of work the girl children performed at home. It was found that among the total respondents, only 11.67% help their mother in ‘heavy work’, 64.33% in ‘light work’, while 24.00% of them provided ‘no help’. In general, maximum respondents under 10th and 12th class category provided help to mothers in ‘light work’ followed by ‘heavy work’ and 'no help'. Among the class 5 respondents, maximum of them, i.e. 82.76% did not help at all in domestic work and rest 17.24% were involved in ‘light work’; none of them performed ‘heavy work’. On the other hand among the drop-out respondents, maximum (64.29%) performed ‘heavy work’, 21.43% did ‘light work’, while only 14.28% did not help at all. The results of this study do indicate that girl’s education is being given equal weight age with the boys; parents are now concerned about their education. The girl children, in spite of going to school and completing their school home work, do wilfully help their mothers at home, although in 'light work'. The financial background of the parents do appear to influence their children’s accessibility to higher school education.