National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year on 24th January, it is an initiative of the Government of India. Such a day aims to educate people about the injustice, inequality, exploitation, and discrimination faced by girls across the country. It is to create awareness among people and in turn help in making our country a better place for girls. 

National Girl Child Day was initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2008. The day is celebrated with awareness campaigns conducted in different cities across the country. The main programs of the day to create awareness include – ‘Save the Girl child’, and ‘child sex ratios’. One of the most demographic problems across India would be ‘Female Foeticide’. 

Empower Girls to Empower India 

The reality of girls and women in our country is more than what we get to see on a daily basis. India is one of the largest countries where there are more deaths of  baby girls than baby boys. According to a survey conducted by UNICEF in 2021 reported that India is home to the largest number of child brides, they get married even before they turn 18.  

The Global Gender Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum ranks India 135 out of 145 countries. This report shows gender parity in different countries and measures taken by the countries to improve their rank. The issues concerning girls and women in our country include – malnutrition, lack of education, female foeticide, human trafficking, abuse, and violence, which happens in our country daily. 

Objectives of National Girl Child Day

It is important to eliminate inequalities faced by girls in the name of gender. To educate the parents about the role and importance of girl child in a family and a country. To provide basic rights and opportunities which includes the right to education which is compulsory. To educate and spread awareness about the health and nutrition of every child as well as for the pregnant women who are often malnourished. 

It is important to provide necessary resources to the girl child as it is provided to a boy which is not how the dynamics run in a family till today. They should be given the value and respect which they deserve.

Measures taken by the Government 

  1. Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao – It is a central government scheme that aims at education and protection of the girl child. 
  2. Sukhanya Samridhi Yojana – It is a scheme for the parents of a girl child who can open a bank account and save for their higher education and marriage. 
  3. Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana – It is a scheme initiated in Bihar for rewarding parents for the birth of a girl child. They will be given 2,000 rupees. 
  4. National Scheme of Incentive to Girls of Secondary Education – It is introduced by the Education Ministry to help the girls of a particularly disadvantaged class.
  5. The Government also introduced self-help groups in rural areas for the betterment of the girls. 
  6. The Government has prohibited the determination of sex during pregnancy to encourage the birth of girl children. 
  7. CBSE Udaan scheme – It is introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education for the enrollment of girls in engineering and technical colleges. 

National Girl Child Day reminds each one of us to strengthen our efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for girls. The Government is doing its part but as citizens of a country, we must do our part and spread public awareness. We should consider women as equals and provide necessary opportunities for growth and holistic development. The inclusion and safety of girl children should be our top priority as they are the future of our nation. The social stigma attached to the birth of a girl child should be removed from the roots and the change begins at home.

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