The National Girl Child Day is celebrated on January 24 in India every year. Initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2008, the day highlights the inequalities faced by the girl child in India and promotes their welfare in various aspects.
It is not easy for the girl child to live on her own will and prosper, but when has it ever been. The girl child, has had to face discrimination even before she could see the world. From the womb to the grave, girls have to face n number of obstructions like female feoticide, child marriage, gender inequality, unequal education opportunities, rape and many more that threaten their mere existence.
By dedicating one day of the year to one of the most vulnerable sections of our society, the female child, the government hopes to curb the violence and create a safe and secure living conditions for little girls in India.
The objectives of the National Girl Child Day are:
-To highlight the inequalities faced by girls in the country
- To promote awareness about the rights of the girl child
- To generate awareness on the importance of girl education, health and nutrition.
The Government of India has introduced various schemes and steps to ensure every girl child enjoys a better life.
Few of the rights every girl child in India has:
Using ultrasound tests for gender discrimination is illegal in India.
Girl child marriages have been restricted.
‘Save the Girl Child’ has been introduced by the government.
Established open learning system for girls belonging to backward classes does not face any issues.
Various Self-Help groups have been introduced by the government to ensure a better livelihood for girls in rural areas.
Few schemes by the government to further the development of the girl child:
The Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao which started with the initial funding of ₹100 crore aims at reducing the child sex ratio image (CSR), equal opportunities in education and holistic growth and protection of the girl-child.
The Sukanya Samridhhi Yojana provides a girl child below the age of 10 years to open and maintain a savings account. The child is the primary account holder with the parent(s)/legal guardian as joint holder(s). The government grants an interest rate of 8.50% with minimum balance of rs 1000 only.
The National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education is aimed at the upliftment of the girl child from SC/ST communities. The scheme grants the girl child monetary benefits for secondary education. The government allocates Rs 3000 as fixed deposit for the selected candidates who can withdraw the money with interest after passing 10th board examinations and attaining 18 years of age.