News & Events


Project Nanhi Kali Launches Teen Age Girls Report

First and largest survey that highlights what it really means to be a teenage girl in India
74,000 teenage girls surveyed in over 600 districts across all 30 states of India

Mumbai, Oct. 25, 2018: Investing in education, health and livelihood opportunities for young women creates powerful ripple effects that benefit future generations and positively impact the economy and society.

There are 80 million teenage girls in India today. However, there is a critical data gap about how our girls are doing, their dreams and aspirations, does she feel dignified and safe? Does she have access to education, clean drinking water, sanitation?

The Teenage Girls (TAG) Report 2018 is the nation’s report-card that reveals what it really means to be a teenage girl in India. It is brought to you by Project Nanhi Kali, and compiled by Naandi Foundation, with grant support from Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.


Education and Marital Preferences

Indian teenage girls showed promising outlook with the strong similarity in rural and urban data being particularly noteworthy, as it largely breaks away from the common perception of rural India in this context. The findings are:

  • 81 % of teenage girls are currently studying

  • 96 % of teenage girls are unmarried

  • 70 % wish to pursue higher studies

  • 74 % wish to work after their studies and have a specific career in mind

  • In rural, as well as urban India, 73 % of girls aspire to marry only after they are 21 years old, by which time they would expect to be earning a living

Health & Well Being

  • 40 % of teenage girls are still having to defecate in the open

  • 46 % use unhygienic materials during menstruation

  • One in every two teenage girls is anaemic*

  • One in every two-teenage girl has a low Body Mass Index (BMI) **

The survey findings have been used to prepare a TAG Index which compares the performance of each state on status of their teenage girls. It can be considered as a roadmap for policy makers, researchers, activists and the ordinary citizen of India. According to the Index, Kerala and Mizoram are the top two states, while the top three cities are Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation added, "TAG Report shines the spotlight on the aspirations and challenges of 80 million teenage girls of India. This opens up a huge opportunity for us as a nation. It is upon all of us to take action. #ListenToHer"

The TAG Report was born out of the realisation that more needs to be done to ensure these girls grow up to be confident, informed, self-reliant, and independent young women. Project Nanhi Kali will leverage these findings to explore new opportunities that will enable these girls to live their aspirations. It aims to educate a total of 500,000 girls within the next three years.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of the Mahindra Group, said, “There was a pressing need to understand our teenage girls better. The extensive network of Project Nanhi Kali and the Naandi Foundation enabled the collection of critical and meaningful insights. I am confident that the TAG Report will serve as an important reference document for those in both the public and private sectors that are working towards the upliftment of girls and women across the country.”

Renowned freestyle wrestler Geeta Phogat, ace shooter Heena Sidhu and mountaineer Poorna Malavath were felicitated at the launch of the TAG Report as Nanhi Kali icons, to recognise their remarkable achievements in the world of sports that has put India on the world map.

TAG Report Launch Media Coverage

The launch event of this biggest ever teenage girls survey was covered by all leading media publications, including the following:




* Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status. Haemoglobin 12.0 and higher grams/decilitre in blood sample among non-pregnant girls/women is considered a normal level of haemoglobin. Lower than that is considered anaemic with varying degrees. (Source: World Health Organisation (WHO), 2011,

** Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of her height in meters (kg/m2). (Source: World Health Organisation (WHO), 2017. Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 (kg/m2). (Source: International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. 2017. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), India, 2015-16,  page 300)


K.C.Mahindra Education Trust

Kc Mahindra educational trust The K. C. Mahindra Education Trust was founded by the late Mr. K. C. Mahindra in the year 1953, with an objective of promoting literacy and higher learning in the country.

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Naandi Foundation

Nandi Foundation Naandi, in Sanskrit, means 'a new beginning'. It is one of the largest social sector organisations in India working to make poverty a thing of the past.

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