National Girl Child Day: How it feels when they say, Kash iski jagah Ek beta Ho jata?
National Girl Child Day is celebrated in India on 24th January every year. A girl child is often stunted by paramount inequalities, patriarchal norms, and in some cases, devaluation on being compared with the opposite gender. To make conscious efforts to raise awareness on these issues is the primary motivation behind India’s National Girl Child Day celebrations. Started by the government of India and the Ministry of Women & Child Development in 2008, celebrations are focused on raising awareness on the problems that a girl child continues to face during her lifetime if she is allowed to take birth, from female feticide to child marriages and more.
Significance of National Girl Child Day
Inequalities faced by the girl child in India are infamous, and their implications continue to torment millions of lives. In addition to threatening issues like female feticide and child marriages, most girls face inequalities in education, jobs, and even on familial level.
Many women in the country feel that they are not provided and offered with the same options or opportunities that boys get, and this national celebration aims at bridging this gap.
Objectives of National Girl Child Day
The national girl child day celebration focuses on three main objectives.
1) To raise awareness on the rights of the girl-child
2) To bring the various atrocities and inequalities that girl child fights with daily to the podium.
3) To promote and increase the importance of girls’ health, education, and well-being.
This day is marked by organizing different awareness campaigns on saving the girl child, their rights of nutrition, health, and other areas. The government has also taken other measures like banning ultrasound to prevent discrimination and to maintain a balance in the society and has also made child marriages illegal.
As per the 2011 census, the literacy rate for females is 65.46% as against 82.14% of males.
A feeling of being UNWANTED
In today’s scenario, having a girl child may not be a big deal. A Quora user shared her story of how it really feels to be an unwanted girl child.
I was born after 4 girls!
Parveen Sandhu, a resident of Haryana, says that she holds the position of number 5 among 6 siblings and those too all daughters. “My father is a farmer and mother a housewife. My family believed only a son could take responsibility for farms and take our generation forward. So, they desperately wanted a boy child.
But no tactics worked out. However, I am very blessed to have a wonderful family. My parents gave us proper education and the freedom to pursue our dreams. We are blessed to have awesome parents on this planet. They have fulfilled our wishes, and now we are fulfilling their wishes. It’s a great feeling”, said Sandhu.
I always felt unwanted!
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut shared her childhood memories at a magazine cover launch event. Walking through memory lane, she said, “My parents had a child before Rangoli (Kangana’s elder sister). It was a boy, but unfortunately, he could not survive even 10 days and died.
Everyone calls him Hero, and my parents could never recover from his loss. After him, Rangoli was born. She was celebrated in the family. And when I was born, my mother could not accept that it was a girl again. I always felt left out and less wanted. In addition, our relatives did not miss a single chance to remind me of this”.
Kash ek ladka or ho jata…!
Janvi (name changed) said, “My aunt is a Delhi-based woman with 2 daughters. Both are in school, getting good education and comfort. However, there is a deep desire in her to get a son. I remember my Dadi (grandmother) got feverish when she learned that her daughter had given birth to a second girl child. Sometimes, she even curses her to die (in a joking way). I often overheard their conversation where my Dadi kept saying, “Bete ka Sukh to Kabhi kudiya (daughters) nhi de Sakti. Ek ladka bass or Ho Jata, lekin Bhagwan sab Kuch to nhi deta na”.
Last year, we celebrated the sex ratio in the country that favoured girls. However, many laws have restricted female feticide at the cost of individual desire. A girl child may be allowed to take birth, yet enjoying acceptance from family, society, and with their own self takes a very long time.