First to pass Class 12, she’s star of vanishing tribe | India News

RAIPUR: The daughter of a couple that collects sal leaves for a living in Chhattisgarh has become the first girl in the vanishing Birhor tribe to pass Class 12 as a regular student.
Battling poverty, dogma and stiff opposition from her tribe, Nirmala scored 58%, and now aims to step into a college — perhaps the first girl in her tribe to do so. Her father said Nirmala would “follow her dreams”.
The family stood up to elders in the tribe who demanded that she be taken off school and married, in keeping with Birhor ‘tradition’.
Nirmala hails from Jhargaon, a village of about 1,100 people in Jashpur district, about 440km from Raipur. The Birhors — a ‘particularly vulnerable tribal group’ — are believed to number less than 10,000 in the country.
Birhor Samaj head Jageshwar Singh told TOI: “The tribe still follows the old tradition where girls are not allowed to study and are married at an early age. Besides, the tribal people are superstitious regarding girls’ education. People strongly objected to Nirmala going to school”.
Singh said Nirmala is the first Birhor girl to pass Class 12 “with regular studies from Class 1 to 12th”. “Earlier, a girl from our tribe completed her studies through open school,” he added.
After declaration of results, Jageshwar Singh and Nirmala went to Jashpur town where collector Mahadev Kawre felicitated her.

[Source :Times of India]


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