National Girl Child Day 2024 – Celebrating Every Girl!
Every year, on January 24th, India comes together to mark National Girl Child Day—a dedicated occasion to shed light on the challenges faced by girls and emphasise the importance of their well-being. It serves as a poignant reminder to address issues like gender inequality, access to education, and healthcare. It was to address not only these issues but also several more, that the decision to dedicate one day in the year to the girl child was made by the government of India. The idea was to use this one day to bring about an awareness that would continue, all year long.
But why do we celebrate National Girl Child Day?
In 2008, the Ministry of Women and Child Development initiated the National Girl Child Day with the main objective being highlighting the inequalities that are faced by girls across the country. The intention behind the day was also to create an awareness of the rights of the girl child and give the requisite importance to the education, health, nutrition and overall well-being of the girl child.
The objectives behind the National Girl Child Day of India
Although the theme associated with the National Girl Child Day might vary from year to year, the basic objectives remain the same. For instance, the theme in the year 2019 was “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”, in 2023, it was ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation, Our Time is Now – Our Rights, Our Future.’ It would be interesting to see what the chosen theme for National Girl Child Day 2024 would be!
However, the general objectives behind the idea of the day remain the same:
- Removing inequalities in terms of education, healthcare, nutrition and opportunities for the girl child
- Ensuring all girl children get their rights and the respect and value they deserve
- Increasing awareness and consciousness about the rights of the girl child
- Offering new opportunities to the girl child, allowing her to grow and prosper
- Working on issues pertaining to gender discrimination and educating people on important topics such as the health and nutrition of the girl child and the reducing child sex ratio in the country
- Providing girls with equal rights and opportunities and giving them the freedom to move, reside and work in any part of the country
The National Girl Child Day slogans might take on new words, but the sentiment remains the same – Save the girl child and build a better future for the nation!
The true purpose and importance of National Girl Child Day
The notion of celebrating such a day has deeper roots – the day is meant to remind us that girls make up almost half the country’s population, but they are not getting the rights and freedoms they deserve. When National Girl Child Day is celebrated on January 24th, every year, it is also meant to serve as a reminder of everything that has been done and still needs to be done to protect and nurture every girl child of our country.
Over the past several years, a range of schemes, policies and laws have been brought into action to help improve the condition of the girl child in the country. Some of these include:
- Gender determination is no longer legal in the country – any hospital or clinic offering to do the same will be considered guilty of breaking the law.
- Ante-natal care has been made compulsory for all pregnant women to ensure that the infant mortality rates are brought down.
- Child marriages are abolished – the minimum age for a girl to get married is 18 as of now; there is a bill in motion to increase it to 21.
- Education has been made free and compulsory for all children, till the age of 14, under Right to Education.
- Schools are now offering mid-day meals, which ensure that all children come to school to get not only education, but also proper nutrition.
- Several schools are also offering free sanitary pads, in an effort to ensure that girls do not drop out of school, at the start of their menstruation or due to similar reasons.
- Several self-help groups have been formed that have allowed more freedom and opportunities for girls, especially those who come from marginalised sections of society and rural areas.
At Educate Girls, every day is a girl child day for us, and strive to ensure that every girl in rural India has access to education. Through our partnership with the government and the community, we have been able to reach out to many girls in the remotest parts of India. Our Team Balika volunteers build connections within the local communities, helping them understand the importance of educating girls and helping them build better futures. Today, Educate Girls has been able to mobilise lakhs of girls for enrolment!
This National Girl Child Day, please join us in empowering girls in rural India through education! Support Educate Girls, because when you donate to girls’ education, you are helping us continue our efforts and help build a more educated and empowered nation.
So, on this 24th January, on the National Girl Child Day 2024, make sure that you do your bit to help protect and educate all the girls of our country!
Posted on January 11, 2024