National Girl Child Day

India celebrates January 24 as National Girl Child Day. The day is marked out to observe and do away with inequalities faced by girl children in Indian society. It is a day that is meant to raise citizen’s conscientiousness with regard to sub-human treatment meted out to little girls, right from even before they are born! While the country has officially banned sex determination tests to terminate pregnancies if the foetus is a female, yet a good number still find devious ways to find out the sex of their unborn child.

National Girl Child Day therefore focuses on drawing attention to improving the status of the girl child in our society. It is time we made certain that girls get proper reverence and are not only valued as human beings but are ensured of their human rights. We still have a long way to go in maintaining the correct child sex ratio for which we have to work towards changing the warped mindsets with regard to the birth of girls.

The National Girl Child Day should focus on couples to increase their understanding that girls are important and have a definite role to play in society. Demographically and in every other sense to make the world a more balanced and harmonious place to live in.  And for doing this we need to facilitate the issues that are considered a burden in raising girls. We have to give them equal opportunities in provision of the fundamental needs of a child – health, education, nutrition and individual choices.

India is still caught up with patriarchal thinking and it is now up to the new generation to initiate and propagate gender equality among its peoples. National Girl Child Day needs to filter down to every warp and weft of our society to offer every support and opportunity to girls everywhere – urban-rural or rich-poor. Increased awareness will lead to lesser inequalities and give more chances for education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, job opportunities and decision making.

Apart from these basic needs girls upon attaining maturity need to be given freedom for personal choices like employment, marriage and rights over resources and property. It is therefore important to formulate this day in a manner of mission for creating vital changes for the girl child. Mothers and fathers have to learn to make meaningful contributions in the lives of girl children so that they are given proactive support to live their full lives.

This special day therefore hopes to promote the girls significance and status to make way for a more just and gender equal society. This is extremely important to do away with the rigid social biases that we exercise on them throughout their lives. We need to speak up from every platform – civic, social and political about the urgent need to reform the status of the girl child and pave the path for her to be free from discrimination and exploitation.

Let us all mark this day as a starting point to offer opportunities to girls to gain their full potential in a secure and facilitative setting. Let us offer them good education, nutrition and health care rights. Let us educate them regarding their physiology and reproductive health. Let us take part in this mission to fight all backward thinking and social stigma attached to the birth of a girl child. HERD Foundation looks ahead to a day in the near future when we witness pomp and music at the birth of girls.

(Images – Courtesy Google)

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.