New Delhi: National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year on January 24th in India to raise awareness about the rights and welfare of the girl child. The day serves as a reminder of the need to address the discrimination and violence faced by girls and to promote gender equality.
In India, the girl child has historically been subjected to discrimination and marginalization. This is reflected in the country's skewed sex ratio, with fewer girls being born and surviving compared to boys. The preference for sons over daughters is deeply ingrained in Indian culture, leading to practices such as sex-selective abortion and neglect of the girl child.
The National Girl Child Day was first observed in 2008 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development with the aim of highlighting the importance of the girl child and addressing the issues faced by them. The day is celebrated through various activities such as seminars, workshops, and cultural programs to raise awareness about the rights and welfare of the girl child.
One of the major issues faced by the girl child in India is child marriage. Despite laws against child marriage, the practice is still prevalent in many parts of the country. Child marriage not only robs the girl of her childhood and education but also exposes her to health risks and domestic violence. The government has taken several steps to combat child marriage, including the launch of the Kishori Shakti Yojana, a scheme to empower adolescent girls.
Another major issue faced by the girl child in India is access to education. Despite government efforts to increase enrollment, girls still face barriers to education, such as poverty, cultural attitudes, and lack of facilities. Education is crucial for the empowerment of the girl child and for breaking the cycle of poverty. The government has launched several schemes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign to improve girls' access to education.
The girl child in India also faces discrimination and violence within the family and society. Female infanticide and foeticide, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence are major issues faced by the girl child. The government has enacted laws to protect the rights of the girl child, such as the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. However, the implementation of these laws is often weak, and more needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of the girl child.
In conclusion, National Girl Child Day serves as an important reminder of the need to address the discrimination and violence faced by girls in India and to promote gender equality. The government has taken several steps to improve the welfare of the girl child, but much more needs to be done to ensure that every girl in India is able to grow up in a safe and secure environment and to have access to education and opportunities. It is important for the society to change their attitude towards the girl child and to work together to create a more equal and just society for all.