National Girl Child Day is celebrated every year on 24 January as the National Work Day for the Girl Child. This festival was started to give more support and new opportunities for girls in the country. It is celebrated to increase the awareness among the people about all the inequalities faced by the girl child in the society. Discrimination against girl child is a big problem which has spread in many areas like inequality in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, security, respect, child marriage etc.
National Girl Child Day was started by the Indian government as the National Mission for the Development of the Girl Child. This mission increases awareness among the people of the whole country about the importance of advancement of girls. It enhances the meaningful contribution of girls to the decision-making process through effective support from other community members and parents.
National Girl Child Day 2021
National Girl Child Day was observed on 24 January 2021, Sunday.
Why is National Girl Child Day celebrated?
It is celebrated among the social people to improve their life and to promote the status of girls in the society. It is very important that various types of social discrimination and exploitation should be completely removed from the society, which girls face every day in their life. Various political and community leaders give speeches in the public about equal education and fundamental freedom to increase awareness about the need for the rights of girls in the society.
It is very important for girls that they get strong, safe and better environment. They should be aware of every fact of life and legal rights. They should be aware that they have the right to good education, nutrition, and health care. They should be very well aware of the law including Domestic Violence Section 2009, Child Marriage Prevention Act 2009, Dowry Prevention Act 2006 etc. for their proper rights in life and to face all the challenges.
In our country, the female literacy rate is still 53.87% and one-third of young girls are malnourished. Women of reproductive age group suffer from various other diseases and anemia due to limited access to healthcare and gender inequality in the society. Many steps have been taken by the Ministry of Women and Child Development at the national and state level to improve the condition of the girl child through various schemes.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development has started a scheme named “Dhanlakshmi” under which basic needs like sterilization, birth registration, school enrollment and maintenance up to class 8 are met by cash transfer to the family of girl child. . The Right to Education Act has provided free and necessary education for the girl child.
How National Girl Child Day is celebrated
To promote the status of girls in the society, various programs are organized across the country to celebrate Girl Child Day. A big campaign is organized by the Indian government to increase the consciousness of people towards girls in the Indian society.
In order to celebrate it as a national work, from 2008, the Ministry of Women and Child Development started celebrating National Girl Child Day. Through this campaign, the inequality faced by girls in Indian society has been marked. On this day, various advertisements are run by the government with the message “Save the girl child” and on radio stations, TV, local and national newspaper. NGOs and NGOs also come together and participate in this festival to fight against the social stigma regarding the girl child.
Objective of celebrating National Girl Child Day
- In the society, the girl child gives new opportunities for the child and it is celebrated as a national work to increase the consciousness of the people.
- Removal of inequality faced by the girl child of Indian society.
- It should be ensured that due respect and importance is being given to every girl child in the Indian society.
- It should be ensured that every girl child in the country will get all her human rights.
- To work against child sex ratio in India and change people’s mind about girl child.
- The couple should start towards the girl child by increasing awareness about the importance and role of the girl child.
- To discuss about the issues related to their health, honour, education, nutrition etc.
- Promoting gender equality among the people in India.
Rights of girl child in India
In order to improve the condition of the girl child, the Indian government took various steps through various announcements. Some of them are as follows:
- Gender determination by clinics in pregnancy has been declared illegal by the government.
- Child marriage is prohibited.
- To fight malnutrition, illiteracy, poverty and infant mortality in the society, antenatal care has been made necessary for all pregnant women.
- To save the girl child, the “Save Girl Child” scheme has been started by the government.
- The condition of girl child education in India has improved with the introduction of free and compulsory primary school.
- In order to improve the condition of girl child in India, one-third of the seats in the local government have been reserved for women by the Indian government.
- Anti-MTP, Anti-Sati Act, Anti-Dowry Act has also been brought by law to increase the status of women and employment opportunities.
- Five year plan has been implemented to bring attention to the status of education in the backward states of the country.
- School children are given uniform, lunch, educational items and money is refunded to the families of girls belonging to SC and ST castes.
- Balwadi-cum-palan ghar has been implemented to attend primary schools and take care of small girls.
- Other programs including “Operation Blackboard” have been organized to upgrade the school service and education of teachers.
- Open education system has been established for the ease of girls of backward areas.
- For the girl child, it has been declared that “girls should be treated equally and given opportunities” to increase the opportunities for them.
- Self-help groups have been started by the government as the main policy to make better life for the girls of rural areas.
Theme of National Girl Child Day
1) The theme for National Girl Child Day in the year 2017 was “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)”.
2) The theme for National Girl Child Day in the year 2018 was “Ek girl is a flower, not a thorn”.