Moving forward with their #KeepGirlsInSchool movement, Whisper, India’s leading feminine care brand, launched ‘Mobileshaala’ today, an initiative to provide free education while schools across the country remain closed. School closures due to the ongoing pandemic could lead to increased drop-out rates, disproportionately affecting adolescent girls. While closing down schools temporarily might help contain the virus, it could have a permanent effect on the future of many – especially marginalized girls, who are now even more vulnerable to dropping out of school in the absence of structured education. Uninterrupted learning is of utmost importance for these girls.
With “Mobileshaala”, Whisper is building their commitment to #KeepGirlsInSchool. It is a phone-based learning system that gives free access to curriculum-based education modules on key subjects like English, Science and menstrual hygiene education.
Education is a critical component for empowerment. It is startling that when girls hit puberty, 1 out of 5 girls starts missing school, leading to her eventually dropping out and we don’t even notice. To bridge this gap, Whisper initiated the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement earlier this year to empower girls with menstrual hygiene education and as a major step towards achieving the brand’s vision of 100% menstrual hygiene in India. The first phase of #KeepGirlsInSchool initiative has helped keep 50 lakh girls in school.
Chetna Soni, Category Leader – Feminine Care, P&G Indian sub-continent: “We kicked off the #KeepGirlsInSchool movement earlier this year, staying true to our commitment to ensure periods do not stand in the way of a girl achieving their dreams. Lack of menstrual hygiene education is a key reason for girls to start dropping out of school when they hit puberty. We have been able to make significant impact on-ground to #KeepGirlsInSchool helping 50 lakh girls in early 2020. Today, these girls face a major challenge as the schools have shut down across the country due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This has disrupted the structured learning process across India and can lead to higher drop out rates especially for girls. Being a brand that has always supported girls, we have supercharged our #KeepGirlsInSchool mission with ‘Mobileshaala’, to enable uninterrupted learning for girls, even during these challenging times. It is a free mobile-based learning system where girls can continue learning on school subjects and periods, especially during these challenging times. We are pleased to support organisations like Pratham in the endeavour of girls’ education, and will continue to break barriers to unleash girls’ confidence so they can be whoever they want to be.”
Bhumi Pednekar who is a strong advocate for the education of girls has supported the initiative. Talking about “Mobileshaala”, she said: “I whole-heartedly believe that nothing should get in the way of a girl’s education. That’s why Whisper’s ambition to #KeepGirlsInSchool even when they are at home with the Mobileshaala initiative is very personal for me. My parents always made sure education was my number one priority while growing up and I hope we can do the same for the young girls of our country during these trying times. I would like to make a strong appeal to everyone to spread the word and share it with the ones who could benefit from it.”
Whisper has collaborated with Pratham, an NGO that focuses on education for children, to drive this program. Dr Banerji, CEO of Pratham said, “Mobileshaala is a much-needed initiative by Whisper in these uncertain times. Ensuring that girls remain in school and continue to learn is high on our priority as well. Movements like #KeepGirlsInSchool are key to tackling the issue of dropout rates of adolescent girls, especially in the current scenario where girls have a higher risk of dropping out.”
Whisper continues to act as a force for the good, empowering girls and women to be whoever and whatever they want to be by ensuring that nothing comes in the way of achieving dreams. Whisper has been committed to improving awareness around periods through its Menstrual Hygiene Awareness School Program, which has touched the lives of more than 4 crore girls in India since 1995. Strengthening this commitment, Whisper has pledged to reach 5 crore girls by 2022 – as empowered girls will empower the nation. You too can play a role in supporting these girls by logging on to https://keepgirlsinschoolindia.org/mobile-shaala and spreading the word to enable uninterrupted learning, be it for your own daughter or someone else’s.