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Make India a Better Place for Girls

To make India a better place for girl children, the nation should protect rights of girl children, ensure gender equality and focus on education for girls.

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Make India a Better Place for Girls

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  1. Make India a Better Make India a Better Place for Girls Place for Girls The Akshaya Patra Foundation © 2016 Page 1

  2. Girls are as important as boys. But many of us are yet to completely accept the fact and in several parts of India, girls are still considered as a burden to the family and treated inferior to boys. Moreover, they are denied some basic rights of children like education, freedom and nutrition. Changing this picture is the main aim behind observing the National Girl Child Day on January 24 every year in India. Compared to the past, the situation has improved significantly. However, we still have a long way to go to make our nation a better place for girls. There is no doubt that we will reach our destination one day. But to achieve this faster, we have to take care of several elements mainly education for girls. This is because education is best way to empower girl children or achieve gender equality. An educated girl is not only an asset to her family but to the whole community. Education gives girls the confidence and skills to work, manage and run a family and help in the betterment of the society. The Akshaya Patra Foundation © 2016 Page 2

  3. Interestingly, educating a girl can help avoid some issues our society is currently facing including early pregnancy, malnutrition and infant mortality. Also investing in a girl’s education can bring more returns than that of a boy. Research shows that an extra year in schooling leads to 15 percent increase in a woman’s future earnings compared to the 11 percent in men. Undernutrition is another issue which affects girl children in India. Shockingly, about 47% of teenage girls in the nation are underweight. An undernourished girl child will grow up as an undernourished mother and will give birth to stunted children. Similarly, child marriage and early pregnancy are the other two issues which haunt Indian girls today. Millions of girls are still married off before 18 and become mothers at an early age. The Akshaya Patra Foundation © 2016 Page 3

  4. In an effort to solve these issues and to highlight the importance of education for girls, the Indian Government has introduced several schemes. ‘Betibachao, betipadhao,’ ‘SukanyaSamriddhiYojana (SSY), ‘Nutrition programme for adolescent girls,’ ‘The Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) –Sabla’ and the ‘National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education’ are some of them. Also some NGOs have come forward to help girls. The Akshaya Patra Foundation is one of them. The NGO’s Mid-Day Meal Programme has helped improve girls’ education, helped bring them back to school and boost the nutritional status of girl students. Educate Girls, Nanhi Kali, Rasta, Save a Girl Child, Plan India are some of the other charities who work for gender equality, girl’s education and welfare of girl children in India. Despite all these efforts, India is still considered the worst country in the world for girls. On this Girl Child Day, let us change this image -join hands, fight these issues together and provide education for girls, so that India will become a dream land for girls across the whole world. Follows us @ The Akshaya Patra Foundation © 2016 Page 4

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