Osmanabad, May 8: The Osmanabad Zilla Parishad has become the first local body in Maharashtra to open a competitive exam guidance centre for girls, including those whose farmer fathers committed suicide in the drought-hit district.
"We have enrolled 100 girls at the Spardha Pariksha Margdarshan Kendra and have provided teaching faculty to guide the girls from rural areas to prepare for MPSC and UPSC exams," Osmanabad ZP CEO Anand Rayate said.
The Zilla Parishad administration has made available to the students a library and study room and has spent Rs 10 lakh for renovation of the exam centre space, he said.
The centre, which was launched on Maharashtra Day, has reference books and guides for the competitive exams. "Fifty girls studying here are daughters of farmers while the other 50 are daughters of ZP staff," Rayate said. An entrance exam was conducted and students picked up based on merit list, the official said, adding that the ZP is rendering all necessary help to talented girls whose fathers ended their lives due to poor crop or debt.
The guidance centre will be operational till December after which another batch of female students will be enrolled. There will be weekly practice tests to gauge performance of the students.
The ZP has decided to focus on this important aspect of all round development of girls, including their mental and physical health, Rayate said.
"We recently undertook a campaign that had group discussions on subjects like problems faced by adolescent girls, empowerment of women through self-help groups, environmental balance, reservations for women and laws related to them.
"We also focused on girls' education and employment opportunities for them in the new media and information technology," Rayate said.