About Empowerment of Girl

Established in the year 1985, Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) has been in the forefront of addressing national concerns in the areas of Disaster Response, Social Development and Educational Initiatives. Having its head office in Pune, BJS is a non-political, non-profit, professionally managed Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a nationwide footprint working towards the benefit of all.

Over the years of its existence, BJS has practiced and perfected its approach and processes in the chosen areas of its work. It has rich and multi-dimensional experience of working at the grassroots as well as contributing to policy-level thought processes and decision making. BJS has worked with Central and many State governments and NGOs to implement many of its projects.

Smart Girl program formerly known as EOG (Empowerment of girls) is a unique endeavor of BJS that seeks to address issues and concerns related to emotional development of girls (from 8-10 std). The underlying assumption to this program is that girls in the age of 14-18 years are emotionally vulnerable and denied equal opportunities for development as compared to boys in similar age group. Addressing this gender gap will lead to overall development in girls thereby increasing their capacities to take decisions and control over their own lives. The prevailing social environment and increasing reports of violence (physical and verbal) against girls also necessitates implementation of Smart Girls program.

Smart Girl is a simple initiative that was rolled out initially on a pilot basis to evolve the design for the benefit of the girls through community network but it has now grown and expanded its scope and reach to cover all school going girls in 8th-10th std. Over a period of time the program has also been renamed as Smart Girl program from EOG to reflect the change in the outlook of girls who are modern and liberal in thoughts.

The goal of the program is sustainably enhanced young girls’ (from 8-10 std.) capacities to live life with dignity and access equal opportunities through effective life skills education (LSE). The program framework broadly recommends 5 modules (Self Awareness, Communication and Relationships, Self Esteem and Self Defense, Choices and Decisions and Friends and Temptations) for girls consisting of total 10 hours to be delivered as a 2-day workshop. Additional 6th module of 90 mins for parents and 30 mins with girls is also a part of this program where parents are sensitized towards girls needs and together parents and girls are facilitated for bonding well and resolving to spend quality time together.

Smart Girl program follows a Cascaded Training of Trainers (TOT) approach by training identified Master Trainers to train teachers from schools, who then conduct the workshops in the respective schools with the girls. It involves reaching to girls and their parents through liasoning with state/district level government authorities, private school networks decision makers, school principals, and teachers, all of who are also stakeholders in the program.

The Smart Girl program is implemented over a period of 16 weeks as a district – level model in the selected district(s) and is jointly monitored by BJS with support from district level authorities. The monitoring system includes capturing both qualitative and quantitative data for getting insights of the program effectiveness and evolving it further. The program is not resource intensive and could be rolled out easily through existing resources available with the district authorities.

From 2008 till February 2017 total 765 workshops have been conducted by BJS through its private network that benefitted 30,403 girls across the country. In 2015 alone, around 10,000 girls participated in the workshops all across number of states.

Few private networks like Rayat Shikshan Sanstha and Federation of Jain Educational Institutes (FJEI) have expressed a keen interest in Smart Girl program. After an evaluation of a Demo Workshop and Teachers’ Training in January-February 2017, Rayat has created a plan to implement Smart Girl Program in 434 Secondary Schools for 1,59,499 girl students of 8-9-10 standards during 2017-18 by through around 50 Master Trainers and 1600 Smart Girl Trained Teachers. FJEI has gone ahead with Teachers’ Trainings in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Gujarat and hundreds of FJEI school have started conducting Smart Girl workshops on a regular basis.

Government of Maharashtra implemented a large scale district level pilot project In Ahmednagar district in 2016-17, where through 72 Master Trainers and 985 Smart Girl Trained Teachers of government network around 70,905 girls were benefitted from 1045 workshops. The program is being run now through the government teachers in their respective schools for the new girls coming in 8-9-10 standards. It has received a very positive feedback from parents, school principals, teachers, girls and district government authorities.

The purpose of this document is to provide an overall understanding of the Smart Girl program. It describes the integration process to implement the program on a project basis in a different geography by adapting the same to suit the local needs and conditions. It also explores the possibility of replicating /scaling up the intervention within the state of Maharashtra or another state by engaging in dialogue with the education authorities and private school networks’ decision makers for handing over the program and them to own it for sustained implementation.

“Sustainably enhanced young (13-17 years’ age) girls’ capacities to live life with dignity and access equal opportunities through effective life skills education life skills education (LSE).”

There are many definitions of life skills. The World Health Organization (WHO, 1993) defines life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enables individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.” WHO (1994) has also identified a core set of life skills for the promotion and well-being of children and adolescents. These are problem solving, decision making (including goal setting), crticial thinking, creative thinking (including value clarification), communication skills, interpersonal skills (including assertiveness), self awareness, empathy, coping with stress and coping with emotions.

Smart Girl program initiates life skills education for secondary schools girls with introduction to the need of self awareness for decision making, communication skills for interpersonal relations, critical thinking for choices and decisions, and handling of self esteem for stress and emotional management.

1. To significantly enhance self- awareness in girls that directly and indirectly improves their social status.

2. To significantly enhance self- awareness in girls that directly and indirectly improves their social status.

3.1 To increase knowledge about maintaining self-esteem in girls

3.2 To instill confidence to face adversities and to knw the practical tips for self defense.

4. To generate ability in girls for balancing choices and making life decisions rationally

5. To facilitate positive beliefs in girls about right friendship and handling temptations

6. To sensitize parents for their adolescent children’s developmental and emotional needs

7. To enhance systems and institutional capabilities for sustained improvement in development of girls



Module Objectives


Self -Awareness

  • To create realization that each one of us lack self-awareness
  • To generate awareness about the importance of knowing one self
  • To learn technique of questioning oneself for increasing self-awareness



Communication and Relationship

  • To introduce basics of essential aspects of  communications
  •  To develop sense of family bonding in spite of situational differences or gaps in family
  •  To develop acceptance for differences of opinion and to create sense of understanding

Self Esteem and Self Defense

  • To know that everyone has some or the other strength
  • To create self-respect through identification of strength
  • To know that the self-esteem matters and it can be protected
  • To convey the need to manage fear and / or anger
  • To create realization that goal of self-defence is survival not winning
  • To instil confidence to face adversities and know the practical tips for self defence

Choices and Decisions

  • To create sense of responsibility required to exercise choices and to take decisions
  • To generate understanding of correlation between freedom and responsibility
  • To discuss important life choices and decisions where one needs to be careful

Friendship and Temptation

  • To understand the importance of friendship in one’s life
  • To create awareness about importance of selecting right friends
  • To create awareness about the need to weigh pleasure versus consequences

Dialogue with Parents

  • To sensitize parents about the needs of young children
  • To facilitate healthy communication between  parents and children