January 24 – National Girl Child Day

final_ngd_logoWhile it is amazing that in a country like ours where female deities are revered and treated with utmost deference, we have still felt the need to allocate a day for the girl child so that her growth, potential and safety may not be compromised. Yes, since 2009 India has been observing January 24 as National Girl Child Day.

The day marks the need to preserve and protect the sanctity and inviolate right of little girls to be free and safe.  Naturally, free and safe from what might be the next logical question. The truth is we yet need to keep our girls safe from traditions that suppress and subjugate the world of girls as they grow in a more and more gender divisive world.

The day marks out the need to support and offer opportunities to young girls. It is essential to increase awareness about inequalities faced by girls in our society, on any stratum. Such inequalities exist in plain sight but are often invisible since they are so unknowingly accepted and are so widespread. Inequalities persist in critical areas like nutrition, education, medical care, safety, and access to rights.

It was for this reason that the National Girl Child Day was instituted to take on a mission by the Government of India. This mission focuses on raising awareness among people across the country about the importance of promoting the girl child. It is marked out so as to draw attention of parents and communities the meaningful contribution they should be making for the proper growth of girls.

Celebrated in a spirit of enlarging the scope and position of girls in our society to make their lives happier and more fulfilling, it is necessary to do away with existing discrimination and exploitation at every level. It is heartening to make note that this awareness is being shared by political leaders and community leaders to ensure that girls get access to equal education and fundamental freedoms.

Even today female literacy rate in the country stands at 53.87% while one-third of young girls remain malnourished. Young women in the reproductive age group are anemic and suffer from psychosomatic illnesses in the wake of gender discrimination that renders them feeble and dependent. National Girl Child Day was earmarked by Women and Child Development Ministry to campaign inequalities faced by girls in Indian society.

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