Happy National Girl Child Day!

Kofi Annan once said “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”

Since 2008, India has celebrated National Girl Child Day on January 24th every year, to raise awareness and consciousness of the society with respect to the girl child.

The marking of this day, was started to offer more supports and new opportunities to the girls in the country. Inequality about girl child is a vast problem which includes many areas like inequality in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection, honour, child marriage, domestic violence, sexual harassment in public spaces, as well as the workplace, and so on.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that National Girl Child Day is a day to celebrate the exceptional achievements of the girl child, whose “excellence in many fields makes us proud”. He also added that it is imperative to reject discrimination against the girl child and ensure equal opportunities for the girl child.

This year, the occasion shall be marked by release of National Plan of Action for Children 2016. Ten districts under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme for their exemplary performance will also be felicitated.

Dr Ranjana Kumari, our director, had this to say about National Girl Child Day – “We can only celebrate the girl child, once they are born. Thus, they need to be allowed to be born, and welcomed at birth. It should be Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and beti ko izzat do. The other thing which is concerning is the nutrition level of girls, because of which women are shorter and anemic. Thus the three pillars of well being of girls is nutrition, health and respect.”

Amitabh Kumar, Head of Media and Communication at CSR, said ‘It is essential that we celebrate this day with an intent to action. In India we are still witnessed, gender biased sex selection, child marriage, dowry, rape. Unless we provide a safe and secure environment for girls, there is no way we as a nation will progress’.

At CSR, we have been devoted to the cause of women empowerment since inception. Through our various programs- Kanya Janm Mahotsav (which celebrates the birth of girls), the #SoSEC application which provides a comprehensive list of welfare schemes available to girls and women in Delhi, being a nodal agency for the Government’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative, our efforts at curbing pre-natal sex selection, our initiative for educating girls via Global Giving, and many others- we have maintained that empowering girls is one of the first steps to empowering women, and creating a gender just society.

India, as a society, is essentially male dominated and the preference for a son, is widespread, prevalent in every strata and region of the country. Thus, it becomes imperative that governmental organizations, NGOs and civil society, comes together to bring about a change in this mindset, and truly make our society gender equal, and gender sensitive.

This Girl Child Day, let us all pledge to truly celebrate girls!

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