India Declares National Girl Child Day

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January 24, 2009

With immense pleasure, The Hunger Project welcomes the Government of India's new declaration that the 24th of January will be National Girl Child Day.

Every day, one million elected women leaders play a crucial role in local governance throughout India. These women address issues of food security, health, education and water, slowly taking their communities forward towards equality and social justice.

They are staunch advocates of the rights and liberties of the girl child. They fight for the education of each and every child in their village, especially girl children. And, their endless campaign against female foeticide and malnutrition is inspiring.

Many elected women stress education for girl children in particular, as they, themselves, had never received an education when they were young. According to Panidevi, Sarpanch (president of the village council) of Bavdi, Rajasthan, "Without education, life is an eternal dark night and one has to run from pillar to post. Provide education to your children and then they will be able to transform their lives for the better. One who has not received education has wasted her life. Had I been educated, I could have done even better work."

The Hunger Project works with elected women representatives in 14 states of India. It has built the capacities of about 71,000 elected women in the past eight years, enabling them to be agents of change for their villages.

The Hunger Project hails the girl children of India who will grow up to be agents of change for their communities and play an integral part in the country's future leadership.