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You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue of sending girls to schools.

Topic: Case Study

7. You are recently posted as district development officer of a district. Shortly thereafter you found that there is considerable tension in the rural areas of your district on the issue of sending girls to schools.

The elders of the village feel that many problems have come up because girls are being educated and they are stepping out of the safe environment of the household. They are the view that the girls should be quickly married off with minimum education. The girls are also competing for jobs after education, which have traditionally remained in boys’ exclusive domain, adding to unemployment amongst male population.

The younger generation feels that in the present era, girls should have equal opportunities for education and employment, and other means of livelihood. The entire locality is divided between sexes in both generations. You come to know that in Panchayat or in other local bodies or even in busy crosswords, the issue is being acrimoniously debated.

One day you are informed that an unpleasant incident has taken place. Some girls were molested, when they were en route to schools. The incident led to clashes between several groups and a law and order problem has arisen. The elder after heated discussion have taken a joint decision not to allow girls to go to school and to socially boycott all such families, which do not follow their dictate.

(a) What steps would you take to ensure girls’ safety without disrupting their education?

(b) How would you manage and mould patriarchic attitude of the village elders to ensure harmony in the inter- generational relations? (250 words) (UPSC 2014)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

In brief, mention the facts of the case

Body:

Give the major ethical issues involved along with the stakeholders. Write about the steps that you will take. Evaluate its pros and cons of the options mentioned above.

Next, write the approach you will to manage the patriarchic attitude of the village elders.

Conclusion:

Stress on the importance of emotional intelligence and persuasion in such cases.