Jan 24 will be National Girl Child Day

January 19th, 2009 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Jan 24, when Indira Gandhi was sworn in as the first woman prime minister of India, will be observed as National Girl Child Day to highlight the plight of the country’s girl child.”This day will be celebrated every year till there is a gender balance in the country and till the time we match the required sex ratio,” said Renuka Chowdhury, minister of state for women and child development.

According to recent government statistics, India’s sex ratio stands at 927 women to 1,000 men.

Chowdhury was speaking at a function where the logo - a shadow sketch of a little girl “racing ahead” on a rectangular frame strewn with colored strokes - was launched.

The campaign, which will end on the International Women’s Day Mar 8, will chant a new slogan “my daughter - nation’s pride”, much different from the ministry’s usual slogan “save the girl child”.

“This is to celebrate the triumph of the girl child. Jan 24 will be the day to anchor and kick off an awareness campaign that will be on a sustainable basis,” Chowdhury said.

She said the ministry would undertake various vocational training and skill upgradation programmes for adoloscents from vulnerable communities and self-help groups in Haryana under public-private partnership.

Also, training in paramedical care will be provided to the economically weaker women.

Besides announcing the new initiatives, she also unveiled T-shirts, stickers with embossed logo, a calender, four panels explaining the purpose of the day and a gender budgeting manual for government ministries and departments.

“The gender budgeting manual will aid the government offices to allocate not money but thought to women oriented needs and environment,” Chowdhury said.

She said at present gender budget cells have been set up by 56 ministries.

Asking the country to stay tuned to TV channels, Chowdhury said the third in the series of “Bell Bajao” advertisements will be screened Jan 24. The campaign is hosted by Bollywood actor Boman Irani, aiming to raise awareness on domestic abuse and encouraging people to “ring the bell” while witnessing any form of abuse.

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