Dasra, a strategic philanthropy
foundation, has announced Dasra Girl Power Awards worth Rs 30 lakh. The awards
will recognize and support high-impact organizations that work towards
empowering adolescent girls in India.


Despite their numbers, the 113 million
adolescent girls in India are a largely invisible and vulnerable group. India
is home to the largest population of child brides; 60 per cent of the three
million sex workers are young girls; 95 per cent girls drop out of schools by
age 15 in leading states; and over 50 per cent girls face domestic violence,
claimed the media release from Dasra.


‘Most programs either focus on issues
(such as education or health) or children or older women. Adolescent girls are
a frequently overlooked beneficiary group when it comes to program design or
focus. With the Dasra Girl Power Awards, we aim to build urgency around issues
faced by adolescent girls and establish the need to focus on their empowerment.
Investing in girl-specific programs translates into better futures for women,
children and families, thereby creating inter-generational impact,’ read the
statement from Neera Nundy, partner at Dasra.


The awards, together worth Rs 30 lakh, will
be given to three Indian non-profit organizations that deliver programmes in
areas of health, education and life skills for adolescent girls. In a unique
initiative, the Dasra Girl Power Awards will also provide capacity building
support to 15 shortlisted organizations that will undergo an intensive two-day
workshop and network with potential funders.  


‘Our goal is to identify innovative
models that have the potential to transform the lives of young girls in this
country. Our awards have been designed to provide financial as well as
capacity-building support because we think both components are equally critical
to developing organizations that can have impact at scale,’ said Smarinita
Shetty, director, Dasra.