National girl child day is celebrated every year on 24th of January as a national observance day for the girl child. This celebration was started to offer more supports and new opportunities to the girls in the country. It is celebrated to increase the awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. 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 and so many.
National girl child day has been started as a national girls development mission by the Government of India. This mission raises the awareness among people all over the country about the importance of girl’s promotion. It enhances the meaningful contribution of the girls in decision making processes through the active support of the parents and other community members.
National Girl Child Day 2019
National Girl Child Day 2019 was celebrated on Thursday, 24th of January.
The day in 2019 was celebrated with theme of “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”.
Many programmes were organised for the occasion including awareness campaign on save girl child, child sex ratios and creating a healthy and safe environment for a girl child.
Haryana was awarded for its good performance for the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative of the national government. The award was presented on 24th January at an event in New Delhi organised on the occasion of National Girl Child Day. Rajasthan was also included in the award for its improved performance for the same.
Andhra Pradesh celebrated a weeklong event on the occasion of National Girl Child Day. The event included awareness programs, self-defence training, drawing and painting competitions for children, child literacy etc.
National Girl Child day also marks the anniversary of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative of the government. The Ministry of Women and Child Development facilitated various secretaries, commissioners and other government officials for their improved performance and support towards the initiative.
Various celebrities and dignitaries also observed the day by sharing messages and pictures with their daughters on social media and emphasised the importance of providing a better and safe environment for the girl child.
Why National Girl Child Day is Celebrated
It is celebrated to promote the girls position in the society to make their living better among society people. It is very necessary to remove different types of social discrimination and exploitation that girls generally face in their life. To increase the awareness about the necessity of the girls right in the society, various political and community leaders speech to the public about the girls right for the equal education and fundamental freedoms.
It is very necessary for the girls to get full potential, safe and enabling environment. They should be aware of all their legal rights and the facts of life. They should be aware that they have the good education, nutrition and health care rights. They should be well aware about legislations including Domestic Violence Act 2009, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 and Dowry Prohibition Act 2006 in order to get their proper rights and face all the challenges in life.
In our country, female literacy rate is still 53.87% and one third of the youngster girls are malnourished. Reproductive age group women are anemic and suffering from various other diseases just because of the gender discrimination in the society and limited access to the health services. Various steps have been taken at national and state level by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to improve the girl child status through a range of schemes.
The Women and Child Development Ministry had implemented a scheme called “Dhanalaksmi” to make cash transfer to the girl child family to fulfil the basic needs such as immunization, birth registration, school enrollment and maintenance up to the Class VIII. The Right to Education Act has made available the free and necessary education to the girl child.
How National Girl Child Day is Celebrated
Varieties of events are organized all across the country to celebrate the girl child day to promote girls position in the society. Government of India organizes a big campaign to increase people consciousness towards the girl children in the Indian society.
National Girl Child Day celebration was started by the Women and Child Development Ministry since 2008 to celebrate as the national observance. Through this campaign, the Indian Government has highlighted the inequalities towards the girl in the Indian society. At this day, various advertisements are run by the government on the TV channels, local newspapers and radio stations and through the message of “Save the Girl Child”. NGO organizations and non government organizations also come together and take part in the celebration to fight against the social stigma about girl child.
Objectives of Celebrating National Girl Child Day
> It is celebrated as a national observance to increase the consciousness of the people and offer new opportunities to the girl child in the society.
> To remove all the inequalities faced by the girl children of the Indian society.
> To make certain that every girl child is getting proper respect and value in the Indian society.
> To ensure that the girl children are getting their all the human rights in the country.
> To work against diminishing the child sex ratio in the India and change the people mind about the girl child.
> To initiate couple towards the girl child by increasing awareness about the importance and role of the girl child.
> To address the girl children issues associated to their health, respect, education, nutrition and etc.
> To propagate the gender equality among people in India.
Themes of National Girl Child Day
> Theme for national girl child day of 2017 was “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)”.
> Theme for national girl child day of 2018 is “A girl is a flower, not a thorn…”.
Girl Child Rights in India
Government of India has taken various steps by declaring variety of schemes to make the girl child status better. Some of are:
> Sex determination during pregnancy through the clinics has been blocked by the government.
> Child marriages of the girls have been restricted.
> “Save the Girl Child” scheme has been introduced by the government to save the girl child.
> Girl child education status in India has been improved through the free and compulsory primary school education for both boys and girls till 14 years of age.
> To improve the status of the girl child in India, the government of India has reserved 1/3 seats in the local government for women.
> Anti-MTP, anti-sati laws, anti-dowry Act has also been introduced by the legislature to enhance the women status and employment opportunities.
> Five Year Plan has been implemented to pay attention towards the education status in the backward states of the country.
> School children are well availed with the uniforms, noon meal and educational materials and repayments to the SC and ST caste girl’s families.
> Balwadi-cum-creeches have been implemented for caring the girl babies and attend the primary school.
> “Operation Blackboard” including other programmes has been organized for the teacher’s education to make the school services advance.
> The Open Learning System has been established for easiness to the girls of backward areas.
> It has been declared for the girl child that “girls must be given equal treatments and opportunities from the very beginning” to expand the opportunities for them.
> The SHG means Self-Help Groups has been introduced by the government as the main policy in order to make better the livelihood of rural areas girls.