The girl child is precious, empower her: urge celebrities

April 12th, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Shah Rukh Khan New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) From Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan to cricketer Sourav Ganguly and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi - they all love their daughters and say the girl child is precious. They are urging parents not to see daughters as a bane but bring them up with care and make them independent.
“Not everybody is blessed with a daughter; only lucky people are blessed with this bundle of joy. Every daughter is a ‘laadli’ (adorable) and she is very special,” said Shah Rukh, who dotes on his eight-year-old daughter Suhana.

Even Sourav, the captain of Shah Rukh’s Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), says he shares the most beautiful moments of his life with his daughter Sana.

“Everybody questions me about my most memorable moment - is it making a century in my Test debut or winning a series in England or getting into the world cup finals? But the most memorable time is the time that I spend playing hide and seek with my seven-year-old daughter,” said Ganguly.

“Her smile is priceless - no trophy and no award come closer to matching it,” he added.

The two share their views about their daughters in a press statement released on the sidelines of Laadli Week, starting Monday.

‘Laadli Week’ - is a joint initiative by entertainment channel STAR Plus and KC Mahindra Educational Trust. Under this programme, they will educate 600 underprivileged young girls in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan.

These girls are a part of Project Nanhi Kali, an initiative by the KC Mahindra Educational Trust.

Starting this year, Laadli Week would be an annual affair.

“We have always stood for the empowerment of women and our women viewers have endorsed it by making it one of the leading Hindi entertainment channel in India,” said Anupam Vasudev, executive vice president, marketing, STAR Plus.

“Our show ‘Sabki Laadli Bebo’ is a tribute to the families of today who respect, adore and educate their daughters and this is now translating into the tie-up with Project Nanhi Kali to educate a larger number of girls in India and also involve and educate audiences through the medium of the ‘Laadli Week’. We will support approximately 600 Nanhi Kali’s in the first year,” he added.

The channel will raise fund for these girls through various contests on its show.

According to 17-year-old Shivshakti, the lead actress of “Sabki Laadli Bebo”, the effort to educate young girls is “very nice” and says she too wants to contribute to it in her own little ways.

“I think it is a very nice thought to teach so many girls. I myself like studying a lot and I feel the least education one needs to have is graduation. I will be very happy if I can teach them something and contribute some money towards their education,” Shivshakti, who recently appeared for her Class 10 board examinations, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

Even India’s first woman IPS officer is for the cause and says it is the parent’s responsibility to educate their child.

“I was my parent’s ‘laadli’. It’s because of my parent’s upbringing that I am what I am today. It entirely depends upon the parents on how they bring up their girl child, educate them, make them financially self-reliant and get them the self respect they deserve.

“The number of girl children in India is decreasing. And this is not happening because of poverty, but mentality. If you think that girls are weak, it’s not their fault - its their parents’ upbringing which is weak,” she said.

In a message to parents, Bedi said: “Had my parents been weak, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Their thinking was strong and therefore I grew up to be a strong individual. You can also do the same.

“Bring up your girl child with care, make her self reliant - self reliance will come with education and self reliance is power. If you do this, your girl children will respect you more and will care for you for life. Make your faith in your girl child strong.”

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