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Ensuring Safety of Girl Child, This Green Squad Is Changing Patriarchal Mindsets One Celebration At A Time

  • IWB Post
  •  October 11, 2019

Among the many inequalities that remain deep-rooted in the country in terms of education, nutrition, legal rights, and medical care for girls, the biggest issue that stands is that there are many places where the birth of girl child is not even welcomed in the first place.

To bring about a change, a group of women in Maoist-affected areas of Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh are working to encourage parents to change this mindset.

Led by Leelavati and Raushan Khatoon, the women clad in green from head to toe work 50 km away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency of Varanasi. Speaking about the issue, social activist Ravi Mishra, who helped form the group, shared, “Birth of a baby girl is not welcomed in many families of the villages considered as Naxal affected. They consider girls as a liability.”

In order to ensure their safety and nutrition, the green crusaders visit every house where a baby girl is born with a bucket full of fruits, dholaks, and manjeeras, asking the family and the father to provide his wife and daughter with the proper care. “We came to know about one and a half year back when we were working with the green crusaders for their campaign against social evils in the region. Immediately, we planned Poshan se Protsahan Tak (From Nutrition to Encouragement) drive to ensure that the birth of every baby girl in these villages is welcomed,” shared Mishra.

The celebration of girl child is then continued by singing folk songs and distributing sweets. With the remarkable work that this group of women had already done, positive results have been showing as the sex ratio of the girl child has increased incredibly. Not just this, the efforts have also brought about a change in terms of providing education to the girl child as they are now encouraged to enroll in schools.

While the group is doing their best, they also share the concern that the government needs to focus on rural areas to promote girls’ education in order to achieve the real empowerment. One of the most striking features of the work done by the group is that they are all ordinary homemakers who look after their families and take out time especially for this cause. The group came into being four years ago with just ten women from a village of Varanasi, and it presently consists of 200 members from various hamlets of Varanasi and Mirzapur.

Apart from standing for equality, the group also fights against alcoholism, dowry, and gambling.

H/T: The Hindustan Times 

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