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Project signing: New Project to Benefit over Six Lakh Adolescent Girls and Young women in 17 districts of Jharkhand

February 23, 2017

NEW DELHI, February 23, 2017 The Government of India, the Government of Jharkhand and the World Bank today signed a US$ 63 million credit agreement for the Tejaswini: Socioeconomic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls & Young Women Project in Jharkhand, which will support adolescent girls and young women, ages 14-24, to complete their secondary level education and acquire relevant skills for the job market.

This is the first World Bank project in India that is solely focused on the social, educational and economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women in the state of Jharkhand.  

The agreement for the project was signed by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Mukhmeet Singh Bhatia, Principal Secretary, Department of Women and Child Development and Social Security, on behalf of the Government of Jharkhand; and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.

"This is the first World Bank Project focusing solely on the adolescent girls,” said Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance. “It is also heartening that such a pioneering project will be implemented in Jharkhand. The Central Government would continue to encourage more Bank assisted projects in Jharkhand and other low income States."

The project, which will support market-driven skills training and secondary education as well as broader socio-economic empowerment for adolescent girls and young women in 17 select districts of Jharkhand[1], is expected to benefit about 680,000 adolescent girls and young women. In the 17 project districts, there are about 2.1 million adolescent girls and young women in the 14-24 age group, of which 13 percent belong to Scheduled Castes and 25 percent to Scheduled Tribes.

“Adolescent girls and young women in Jharkhand face multiple constraints to education, training, and employment. As a result, more than half of young women (ages 15-24) in the state are neither engaged in education, nor employment or training. Empowering these young women through life skills education, skills training and helping them complete their secondary education will improve the economic and social opportunities available to them, and enable Jharkhand to benefit from the demographic dividend,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. 

Photo Credit: World Bank

The Tejaswini project will intervene at two levels – at the community and at the institutional level. The community-based platforms (“clubs” and “centers”) will hold regular counseling and guidance sessions, life skills education, livelihood support services, and provide information on, and access to, broader services and opportunities—especially on project-contracted training and courses for adolescent girls and young women. At the institutional level, it will work with partner institutions through performance-based contracts to deliver vocational training, business skills training, and non-formal education to a subset of adolescent girls and young women.

Non-government organizations (NGOs), too, have an important role to play in the project and will be engaged through performance-based contracts for delivering the community-level project interventions in the project areas.

“The Tejaswini Project targets some of the most binding constraints to young women’s participation in education, training, and employment. This will be achieved by financing a comprehensive package of activities for beneficiaries, including community-based counseling and social support, life skills education, community-based business and livelihood skill training, and access to incentivized educational and vocational training opportunities, among others.” said Pravesh Kumar, Senior Social Protection Specialist, World Bank and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

Life skills education and its activities will be a critical aspect of the community-level interventions under the project. As a result, even those adolescent girls and young women who do not opt for pursuing market-driven skills training or non-formal education courses will enjoy some degree of social and economic empowerment even from just participating in club activities and life skills education.

Life skills education will include four core modules:

(i)   Resilience and “soft skills” – It includes communication and problem-solving skills, goal-setting, and techniques to maintain psychological wellbeing through adversity;

(ii) Rights and protections – This is related to early marriage, child labor, safe migration, gender-based violence, and accessing services and entitlements;

(iii) Health and nutrition – It includes sanitation and hygiene, nutritional habits for self and children, and sexual and reproductive health; and

(iv) Financial literacy – This module would help teach numeracy, saving, budgeting, and accessing credit and financial institutions.

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5-year grace period.


[1] Ramgarh, Chatra, Koderma, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Deoghar, Dumka, Godda, Pakur, Jamatara, Palamau, Latehar, Lohardaga, Khunti, Simdega, Saraikela-Kharsawan & East Singhbhum

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