Varalika Mishra | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – In a creative and meaningful venture, Miranda House, a women college at Delhi University, recently commenced its year-long campaign on the rights of the girl child with the theme -“GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.”
The campaign includes activities like a peer-monitoring system with marginalised children.
In collaboration with UNESCO and supported by SB Foundation, it marked a commitment towards Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality with a special focus on the rights of the girl child. Societies like the Women’s Development Cell, Celluloid, the film society, Adwitiya, the fine arts society and Snapshots, the photography society came together in the spirit of celebration to commit to change. On 22 October at Miranda House Campus, an array of activities like the exhibition and panel discussion saw a fusion of the energies of students , civil society groups and government bodies.
The campus was alive with the effervescence and vibrance of the girls, using creative forms of expression like poetry, music, posters and skits.
The exhibition curated on girl child rights was one of its kind with colour, light and the creative labour of young girls presenting their visions, lives and stories. It saw a really large footfall with students and eminent guests, tapping into the energy and exuberance of the college.
Starting off the panel discussion, Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint secretary of the Women’s Safety Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs congratulated Miranda House for its efforts to bring about synergistic relations between the government, civil society and students.
She elaborated on the 112 application, actions of the Government in providing training in DNA technology and registering volunteers in charting out the way ahead.
K.Moses Chalai, Additional secretary (Beti Bachao Beti Padhao)Ministry of Women and Child Development addressed a number of obstacles that the girl child faces in her lifetime and the role of the government in developing gender friendly technology to prevent violence against women.
He spoke about the achievements of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and the nutritional deficiencies and schemes like Poshan Abhiyan working to tackle this. He spoke about the government using new technology to map distribution as well as the importance of bringing in critical data on the girl child. He commended the status report on the girl child and on tabling a conversation around it.
Sanaya Nariman, member of the governing body of Miranda house and an educational consultant spoke about the role of mediation and the need for more dialogues.
Huma Masood, National Programme Officer of the gender and education division of UNESCO, New Delhi spoke about the obstacles in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the need for joining hands with youth in meeting these goals.
The Principal of Miranda House, Dr. Bijayalaxmi Nanda addressed the gathering with her refreshing ideas and the need to celebrate the girl child. She focused on two major areas-Miranda House’s commitment to a peer mentorship programme with girls from marginalized communities and secondly on bringing in graduates from Miranda House with projects on gender and it was in this regard that spoke about the status report on the girl child authored by an alumni and peer mentor Anoushka Parija with a case study from Shambhavi Mani,another young alumni and a Miranda House graduate and the unique PAAR(Peer Mentorship, Advocacy, Awareness, Research) model which seeks out a way forward.
Monica Kumar from Manas Foundation extended her support as a partner and spoke of the importance of mental health. Shilipi Marwaha, a prominent theater artist brought in her energy to the gathering and spoke of the need to question the obvious and the need to challenge Dowry and say yes to property rights.
Rakhee Bakshi, senior journalist and founder of SB Foundation, lent her voice to the cause and talked about the need for bringing together organizations and developing a sustainable partnership on issues of concern on the rights of the girl child.
The Status report on the girl child elaborates on the challenges in the path of the girl child and sheds light on the opportunities available in various schemes and policies that exist and also for schemes to be created. Shambhavi Mani presented her views on the need for student involvement in bringing about awareness and creating meaningful conversations and commitments.
Anoushka Parija, the author of the report expressed her concerns on the status of the girl child in India and believes in the possibility of synergistic relations, dialogues with various stakeholders and the PAAR model