Discrimination against girls in India has been going on since ages now. Even today, there are several sections of the Indian society where the girl child is treated as a burden. While several privileges are given to the boys; girls are often restricted to the confines of house and given very little or no opportunities to learn and grow in life. It is a matter of great shame that cases of female infanticide are still reported. As per the figures of 2011 census, there are just 918 girls in India for 1000 boys. In such a scenario, the role of the government and NGOs becomes all the more important in order to ensure that girls are allowed to be born and flourish in life. Support charities like Save the Children to contribute your bit in spreading awareness about the importance of girl child.
Why it is important to save and educate girls
In order to achieve true women empowerment, it is important that we begin with the girl children. This is because girls of today are the women of tomorrow. The role of social welfare organizations is critical here as it is not possible for the government to reach every nook and corner of the country. As the aware citizens, we can support organizations which work for the eradication of female infanticide and women empowerment. Donations to them serve two purposes: driving change in the society and providing tax benefits to the donor.
Some yardsticks of women empowerment are:
- Helping women carve a positive self-image and increase their confidence level
- Enabling them to develop the ability to think critically.
- Ensuring that they have equal participation in decision making, whether it’s in the family or at the community level
- Providing economic independence to women
The mindset that a girl is a liability needs to be changed and this requires happening at the grass root level. While spreading awareness is critical, there is a need of stricter laws in place which deter people from resorting to female foeticide.
The role of education is extremely important here and goes a long way in empowering women. And the process of education has to begin early in life. More and more girl children need to be sent to school, provided quality and holistic education. Numerous benefits come with educating girls the right way. Educated girls are able to take the right decisions in life. For example, when an educated girl falls sick, she will have better understanding and awareness to avail proper healthcare services. At the same time, a society in which girls are educated will see less child marriages, decreased levels of poverty and heightened participation of women in socio-economic processes. Educating a girl has far-reaching impacts. It is rightly said that when a woman is educated, an entire generation benefits from it.
Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme (BBBP) of the Indian Government
Literally meaning ‘Educate the Girl Child, Save the Girl Child’ the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao Scheme is an ambitious scheme of the Government of India which is intended to generate massive awareness, improvement of quality of welfare services for females and helping them (girls and women) access these services better. Introduced in October of 2014, the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme goes on to address the declining Child Sex Ratio in the country. The scheme is being rolled out through pan-India campaigns with focus on 100 worst-performing districts in terms of CSR. It is a joint initiative of three important Central Government ministries – the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
There is an urgent need to change this archaic mindset of the patriarchal Indian society which views girls as liabilities. It needs to be established that girls are in no way less than boys. When given the right chances to nurture their talent and skills, they have it in them to excel in different areas of life. It is therefore imperative that both government and non-government organizations work in cohesion to spread the message of saving and educating the girl child. You can donate online to NGOs to lend your support to this movement.