Education Champion Network

Rehana Rehman

Director and General Secretary, Navbharat Samaj Kalyan Samiti (NBSKS) Champion since 2019
“We need to change the way parents think about education and show them the importance of educating their daughters alongside their sons.”
Convincing parents to educate girls

The Issue

In northern India, when families struggle to make ends meet, educating daughters becomes a luxury. Parents often believe that it’s more useful for girls to do housework or get married than go to school. In many communities, girls fear for their safety during their long walks to reach the nearest school.

Rehana’s approach

Community Advocacy

Rehana founded Navbharat Samaj Kalyan Samiti (NBSKS) in 1989 to address gender discrimination in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh — a strict, conservative community where women and girls need permission from their husbands or fathers to leave home. She has spent the past two decades mobilising her community to enrol girls in school. Muslim and Dalit girls in Moradabad often drop out early to marry or work to support their families. 

With her Malala Fund grant, Rehana and her team meet with parents to convince them to allow their daughters to continue their education. In 20 villages, NBSKS recruits and trains girls to create awareness campaigns to educate parents and school management committee (SMC) members. Her organisation also trains chaperones so girls no longer have to walk long, dangerous paths to school alone.

Rehana’s impact

In 2019, NBSKS convened 40 girls to meet with teachers and identify issues in 20 schools that were failing to meet Right to Education (RTE) Act standards. The organisation also trained more than 100 parents on how to enforce RTE compliance in their community’s schools. NBSKS’s community outreach and scholarships helped more than 1,100 girls to reenrol in school. With the Indian chapter of the Malala Fund Education Champion Network, Rehana led the 2020 #SpendOnEd campaign to increase the government’s spending on education to 10% of the national budget.

More about Rehana

Organization's Facebook: NBSKS

There are 9 other Education Champions working in India.