Bhubaneswar: Ironic, isn’t it? Just a day after a minor girl was allegedly raped by men in uniform, the country in general and state in particular is observing the International Day of the Girl Child. A day that gained prominence since 2012, though holds immense significance, seems to have been reduced to just another day in the name of the girl child.
Speaking to odishatv.in, Secretary of Aaina Sneha Mishra said, ”Sexual violence is certainly increasing. Discrimination against the women are quite high. Gender inequality is still there in our society. There is a need to bring awareness among the people regarding the situation and status of girl children in our society.”
There are around 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 across the globe but think about their empowerment and you will have no answer. Female foeticide has reduced but continues unabated in many parts. As per United Nations statistics, it is estimated that around 35% women worldwide have experienced sexual or physical violence. Almost 60% of girl children around the world don’t have access to proper education.
On searching for a few answers from the gen Y in the city, it felt nice to know that most were aware of the day and expressed enough reasons to observe a day to the cause.
“International day of Girl Child is very important to us. As a boy I feel the significance of the day and we should respect the girls,” said Anshuman Rout, a student.
Another student Geetika Sarkar said, ”I think protecting girls is a very important issue. The girls should be educated properly. It is very crucial to observe the International day of the Girl Child especially in a country like India.”
Certainly an indication that there is awareness, among both sexes, about the problems girls or girl children face. But it isn’t less than a fight for most to sustain, that too with dignity.
When asked about the significance of observing this day once a year, Sneha Mishra stated, “the reason behind this observation is to create awareness. People concerned about the rights of girl children come together and try to reach out to the people and educate them about the importance of safety and dignity of the girls. People and organizations dedicated for women’s safety and equality are certainly not forgetting it’s importance and working in this direction throughout the year.”