International Girl Child Day

September 24 marks International Girl Child Day, and this year, CRY (Child Relief and You) is launching a new effort focused solely on discrimination against girls. India PR Wire reports:

While highlighting known symbols of discrimination — feticide being the most prominent, the site explores the real reasons behind it, the social structures and patriarchy that perpetuate this. Celebrated as daughters, mothers and sisters, the girl is lost to these roles and the individual behind these roles takes a backseat.

Highly interactive and informative, the micro site has videos, an opinion poll, articles, volunteer opportunities, greetings, events, campaigns material downloads, an e-letter and much more

The issue of the girl child was previously covered here, here, and here. Take a look at CRY’s new website and spread the word.

Films, Popcorn, and a Girl Child’s Education

Next time you go to a cinema in India owned by Adlabs, you can contribute to a girl child’s education, thanks to a CSR partnership between Adlabs Cinema and Nanhi Kali, an NGO that focuses on this issue. As Indiantelevision.com reports:

The company has joined hands with Nanhi Kali, an NGO which supports and spreads awareness on the issue of education of the disadvantaged girl child in India. As part of the initiative, Adlabs will introduce a special food combo called the “Classroom Combo” – a certain percentage of the sales of which will be contributed to this cause of nurturing a girl child’s education.

The initiative highlights the role that corporations of any type can play in contributing toward social issues, given a little creativity and the willingness to see a bottom line beyond mere profits. And at the same time, they may even rope in customers that otherwise may not be interested in the product. As someone who rarely buys concessions at the cinema, I might make an exception and consider indulging Rs 120 for a “classroom combo” the next time I find myself in front of a Bollywood film in India. A sucker for well-crafted corporate marketing? The lazy man’s answer to giving back to society? Perhaps. But the point is, I would become a cinema-going customer that now thinks about the girl child’s education. And that twist may lead to other contributions to the issue. Continue reading

“We impart knowledge, but we are a roti-driven model”

One finds heroes in the most unlikely of places and amongst the most unlikely of persons.

The unlikely place – “a little-noticed corner of India, in the Bulandshahr district of western Uttar Pradesh”

The unlikely person – “Virendra (Sam) Singh”, belonging to a male dominated family of zamindars and who was at a point of time, DuPont’s South Asia chief.

Mint has profiled Mr Singh for the pioneering work he has done towards the education of the girl child. His work holds special significance considering he has achieved it in a state which suffers from its own share of prejudice against women, where the average female literacy rate is 41%, as against a national average of 54%. The article itself is very well written and reads like a story.

Singh’s pragmatic approach and his untiring resolve which led him through problem after problem is worth emulating – and this exactly is what many of us should try to do. After all everything that we do is actually the result of a choice we make. I was particularly impressed by two of Mr Singh’s observations.

“Why are we not the doers? Why are we passing the buck to an inefficient government? We need to put our damn feet, mouth and everything else there”

“No amount of pity was going to solve the problem. It is a business problem that only business can solve.”

Do ensure that you read the article.

The article in focus here is part of a series, Sixty in Sixty, that Mint came up with to commemorate 60 years of Indian independence. They profiled 60 people who were quietly working to make their country a better place. We, on our part, will try to mention some of these commendable efforts in subsequent posts.