Children urge a girl child and adolescent friendly environment in Ganjam, Odisha

Berhampur: Berhampur Children’s Federation today celebrated the ‘National Girl Child Day’on 24 January, 2017. On this occasion the members of children’s federation organized meetings and awareness rallies in slums such as Raghupati Nagar and Lanjipalli Goudabandh Street. Children conveyed the importance and need of girl child to their parents and communities. Girls touch the heights with success in many sectors like science, technology, politics, defence and social work by innovating ideas that change human lives. But the irony is that our society still believes boys are better than girls. As per census 2011, the child sex ratio in Ganjam district remains 908 as the state and national average remains 941 and 914. This shows a dismal picture of just and equal society and also creates gender disparity. This discrimination creates many social problems like child marriage, child trafficking and violence against children and women.  On the other hand girl’s education also not that encouraging in our society which is due to the gender differences, poor infrastructure for girls in various institutions (e.g. unavailability of separate toilets for girls in schools), violence against girls as per National Crime Record Bureau in Odisha during 2015, there are 2562 cases reported as crime against children similarly during 2014, there are 2196 cases and during 2013 there are 1123 cases reported as crime against children. Among of these, during 2013 there are 509, during 2014 there are 753 and during 2015 there are 1052 cases reported as rape. Among of these, there are also many cases reported as sexual harassment, insult to modesty of women (girls children), kidnapping & abduction of women to compel her marriage and procuration of minor girls etc. Keeping all this in mind the children not just celebrated the girl child day but created a sense among the communities, parents that girl child are equally important, they have equal rights and powerful for complete society. They also highlighted issues of female foeticide, poor enrolment of girl child in schools, early girl child marriage, poor mensuration hygiene practice among girls, early pregnancy, maternal death, infant death and other issues related to children and adolescents.  Children urged elected representatives, government and communities to equally take the responsibilities to protect the rights of the girl children and adolescent. They particularly highlighted the role of citizen and various committees like slum committees, youth clubs, mother’s committees and self-helpgroups and citizen committees like Gaon Kalyan Samiti, School Management Committee, Standing Committees of local self-governments to highlight the issues, monitor public programmes and prioritise the needs and aspirations of the girl children.  In this occasion child leaders and children’s federation members such as Smruti Kumari Sahu, Ankita Sahu , Amit Kumar Das, Pooja Das, Kalia Das  and from Youth for Social Development Chandan Sahu, Abhiram Kanhar, Bala Das, Archana Sahu facilitated children’s federation members.