International Day of Girl Child: 20 girls become envoys for a dayPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 11-10-2019 22:39 IST | Created: 11-10-2019 22:37 IST
Girls from underprivileged backgrounds stepped into the roles of ambassadors and high commissioners of 20 countries for a day on the occasion of 'International Day of the Girl Child' to spread the message of equality and freedom. The initiative was a part of a multi-stakeholder collaboration between Plan India and the delegation of the European Union to India. Diplomatic missions from Australia, Belgium, Slovakia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Israel, Mexico, and Switzerland, among others participated in it.
Apart from diplomatic roles, the girls also took charge of seven corporates, a radio station, a national statutory government body, as well as 270-gram panchayats and block, district and state-level government bodies across the country. Speaking on the occasion, some of the girls highlighted the need to promote and encourage young girls of the country to follow their dreams.
Ambassador of the European Union to India Ugo Astuto said gender equality is a matter of justice and a smart investment towards a more equitable and inclusive society. Astuto said the European Union is a strong supporter of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and women empowerment.
"We work closely with India and other partners around the world to foster equal opportunities for women and girls. I hope that the takeovers will help to break stereotypes and to encourage girls to follow their dreams, to lead and to realize their full potential," Astuto said. The girls were from plan-supported communities, representing 10 Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Odisha, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.
Jyothi, from Telangana, who took the role of ambassador of Switzerland said lack of awareness among parents and community on child-related issues is one of the major gaps in achieving equal opportunities. "This experience has helped me understand that the world is so much beyond what we already know or have access to and understand," she said.