Girl Child : Marching towards a new horizon

Prabhat Kishore
Contd from previous issue
When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous. Special emphasis on girls’ education have been given in Centrally sponsored educational schemes like District Primary Education Programme-DPEP (1991-2005), Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan-SSA (2001-2018), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan-RMSA (2009-2018), Free & Compulsory Education Act 2009, Samagra Shiksha-SS (since 2018-19) and National Education Policy-NPE, 2020. Its direct impact is being noticed as the female literacy rate of just 8.86% in Census 1951 has risen to 65.46% in Census 2011.
Several State Governments have also initiated ambitious schemes, which are changing the age-old scenario. In Bihar, Mukhyamantri Poshak Yojana, Cycle Yojana, Kishori Swashthya Karyakram, Balika Protsahan Yojana, Balika Utthan Yojana, Kanya Suraksha Yojana, Hunar-AuzarYojana etc. have acted as catalyst for change in life of the girls. Mukhyamantri Sukanya Yojana in Jharkhand; Kanya Vidya Dan Yojana, Bhagya Lakshmi Yojana, Laptop Yojana in Uttar Pradesh; Gyan Deepika Yojana in Assam; Kanya Ratna Yojana in Odisha; Kanya Anupreran Yojana in Tripura; Ladli Lakshmi Yojana in Madhaya Pradesh; Gargi Puraskar, Rajshree Yojana, Priyadarshini Yojana in Rajasthan; Dulari Kanya Yojana in Arunachal Pradesh; Kanya Prakalp Yojana in West Bengal are some predominant schemes which have been launched for well-being of the girls.
In Indian civilization and culture, girls have highest place in the society. The ritual of “Kanya Pujan” in Dussehra festival signifies the importance of girls. With increase in consciousness of the people and offering new opportunity to girls in the society has created background for pivotal changes. The role of girls has been changed from protected to protector. They are no more burden, but are pride of the family. The parents have come forward to associate their daughters along with sons for handling their indoor as well as outdoor works and businesses.
The gender reforms and sexual crimes both are performing side by side. Along with awareness in society, the girls must empower themselves to fight against the social evils and gender crimes. They are competent to tackle such situations, only necessity is to discard the age-long mindset that they are the weaker sex.
The National Girl Day is very apt day to think, analyse and act globally for all the positive as well as negative issues concerning girls. Gender discrimination and disparity can not be nullified only through Government initiatives. The parents and society have the pivotal role and responsibility to save the seeds of human creation, available in the form of girl child.

(The author is a technocrat & academician.  He holds a Master in Engineering from MN Regional Engineering College, Allahabad/Prayagraj)