Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Girl Child Day - Oct 11, 2012

Today is International Girl Child Day (Oct 11). This is significant as Oct 11, 2012 marks the start of this event and 2012 is the first year that this day is being celebrated. For me, the biggest takeaway from observing a day such as this is the 'awareness' it generates. May be there will be one less female foeticide, one less child marriage, one less child abuse case. Again - may be one more girl will go to school, may be one more abandoned girl will find a good home, one more girl will get good nutrition... the wishlist is endless.

No matter how much we do to ameliorate the plight of the girl child, it is not enough. It will take us decades and generations to really be able to see the difference. Our attitude towards women in our families is a reflection of how we perceive a girl child who is not part of our family, or our immediate social circles. People can make hefty donations or conduct fund-raising campaigns to help a girl child. But even among those you will find some who are either making a donation to get tax benefits or those who join a fund-raiser volunteering campaign to bag a certificate on a summer-internship project !

I hope more people come forward to spend time in educating the girl child, starting with their own family. In villages, even in 2012 there are instances when child marriage is considered auspicious and education of girls a 'crime'.

Food, nutrition, education and respect-- every girl child's fundamental need. Every girl is special and deserves to celebrate her childhood, cherish her fun-times and receive education and nutrition. I dont think this is an event to be celebrated only by NGOs, social reformers and feminists. It is an occasion that has relevance to all of us...all of whom have loved a girl child and seen one in the family or been one herself.

Cheers to this cause! Happy International Girl Child Day to all. May the road ahead point to progress.

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