National Girl Child Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the city on Wednesday. The NGO, Yuvsatta, along with peace clubs of local schools and colleges, organised girls’ rights celebrations with a unique Pink Turban Campaign promoting the cause of rights and dignity of girls and women at all levels of society.
Over 5,000 students across Tricity took part in the initiative. The girls wore pink turbans and boys pink stoles to celebrate the cause, said Pramod Sharma, coordinator of Yuvsatta. “Turban is a symbol of honour and respect in all religions where it is a practice to wear one. There is a need for this awareness in north India especially where the sex ratio is so troubling. We decided to go for pink because it represents compassion, nurturing and love,” he added.
With the aim to spread a strong message of Rising Girls and Empowered Nation, many schools took part in the celebrations to spread it in society.
Celebrations at educational institutions
Celebrations began at St. Stephens School, Sector 45-B, Chandigarh, around 8 am during the morning assembly where the theme was ‘She makes the world bright, but struggles to see the light’. Ex-IAS and motivational speaker Vivek Atray, who was the chief guest, addressed the students, stating that it’s time for girls and women to speka up for their fundamental rights of education, healthcare, equality and human rights bestowed upon them by the Constitution. “Until and unless they feel empowered from inside and take a stand to claim their due rights, one can’t expect any drastic change in their position in society,” he added.
Amrinder Sharma, Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, was the chief guest at the Government Girls Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18C, where all the girl students had come wearing ‘Proud to be A Girl’ badge along with pink turbans. Addressing the students, Sharma said, “It is very necessary for the girls to access their full potential. They should have a safe and an enabling environment. They should be aware of all their legal rights and the facts of life.”
Balloons with tied-up slogans for girls and women rights were released to kick off celebrations at Home Science College in Sector 10. SS Saron, former acting Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, and senior journalist Dr Vandana Shukla spoke at the event. Justice Saron shared examples from her career and presented examples to work hard with sheer determination to excel in the fields of academics, sports or extracurricular activities. Dr Shukla, with the help of anecdotes, illustrated the need to be well informed about woman’s rights and duties. “One needs to question the traditions that work against empowerment. There is a need to be politically aware or else women will unwittingly hand over the major decisions of their lives to patriarchal forces.”
The Gurukul Global School at Manimajra played host to Harjinder Kaur, Chairperson, Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CCPR). With the pink in abundance at the auditorium, the students put up a great show for the chief guest with poem recitals, dance and presentations on the need to save the girl child. Addressing the kids, Harjinder talked about the importance of allowing the girl child to be born.
“When a family decides to kill a female foetus in the womb, they decide to kill a daughter, a wife and a mother. As a society which worships goddesses like Saraswati and Lakshmi, it is a shame that such hypocrisy exists. It is time we pledge to always go against this practice because every girl has a right to be born, to study, to succeed and to live.”