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Girls & Women

How Shabnam dared to defy her village in India and changed the future for all its girls

In Shabnam's village, going to secondary school was unheard of for girls. In fact, no girls in Shabnam’s village in India had ever completed their secondary education - and university was not even in the realm of dreams. The villagers flatly refused to let girls study, believing they didn’t need an education. This attitude was not unique to the village. In India, over 40% of girls never make it to secondary school. But Shabnam persisted. 

This short film captures Shabnam’s journey as she, with the support of Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program, helps transform her community’s attitude towards girls’ education though the simple act of going to school.

Shabnam became one of the first five girls in her village to complete secondary school, thanks to her perseverance. Today, Shabnam is studying to be an engineer.  

“A huge transformation has taken place in our village,” said Shabnam’s proud father.

Shabnam’s courage serves as inspiration to hundreds of girls in her community who are now going to school. 


This article was contributed by Room to Read.


The views expressed here are not necessarily those of each of the partners of Global Citizen.