International Day of the Girl Child: “Girls March to school” Free and compulsory Education For girls till 18 years of age” Vimukti Pothnal

On 11th of October 2019 under the banner of ‘Hennu Makkala Nade Shale Kade’(Girls March to school) with the alliance of likeminded NGOs from Karnataka celebrated ‘International Day of the Girl child’ at VCT Premises. Nearly123 adolescent girls participated in this event and submitted memorandum to Deputy Commissioner and Gram Panchyath President demanding equal rights and Free and compulsory education for girls till 18 years of age. Girls’ took out rally through the main streets of Pothnal and Raichur near DC office by holding placards and banners containing the message on the needs of protecting the rights of girl child. The Campaign on equal rights and Free and compulsory education for girls till 18 years of age, and to create awareness on adverse impact of child marriage in the society; and demanded the concerned officials to take stringent measures in this regard to impose fine on those who violate these laws. The participants, after marching through the main road of DC office Raichur conversed with the local press media where women activist spoke to them and memorandum was submitted to the concerned authority regarding “Girls March to school” and its implication. The main aim of the rally was to sensitize privileged citizens to protect and demand the right of Girl child. Today & every day, join us to support all girls across the world to keep chasing their dreams through education.

One of the participants shared her experience of being a sister, wife and mother. She encouraged all the women to educate the girl children for she believes that if one girl child is educated the whole family is educated. Fr. Sathish Fernandes Director, Vimukti exhorted saying, “Women face a variety of challenges and difficulties in various parts of the world; at times they still experience discrimination in the workplace; they are often forced to choose between work and family; they frequently suffer violence in their lives as fiancées, wives, mothers, sisters and grandmothers. In poor and developing countries, women bear the heaviest burdens: it is they who travel many miles in search of water, who too often die in childbirth, who are kidnapped for sexual exploitation or forced into marriages at a young age or against their will. At times they are even denied the right to life simply for being female”.

Mrs. Annamma, PHC Nurse was the chief guest of the celebration said “Human development will not be fully realized until we embrace the value of investing and creating more opportunities for the girl child. As the world celebrates the International Day of Girl Child, I hope that both public and private sector institutions continue to expand programs benefitting our children and build a world wherein no girl will be left behind because of their gender”. A meaningful session of interaction was held between the rural girls and the guest speakers. Focusing on the importance of the day chief guest in her speech said, “do what you can, for whom can, with what you have, and where you can’. And further she…..added that girl child is also God’s precious gift to the family and to the community. The boys and the girls are to be treated equally without any gender discrimination. So it is our duty as humans to uphold our rights and grow in a healthy atmosphere of self-esteem. The girl children in most of the states are deprived of education and healthy nutrition. Female infanticide or the abortion of female foetus takes place in everyday life of the society. There are many who have never experienced a carefree state of childhood as they are made to slog at houses and in the fields, in industries and elsewhere in the society. The village girls were revived in their spirits throughout the day’s events and thus they had lot of experience to carry along to their homes. They were thought to love and respect their own lives, to fight against injustice, and to live well in the society in dignity. On the whole it was a great day indeed. May there be smiles on the girl children everywhere in the society. God bless them.

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