Every baby girl deserves the chance to grow up but in India and other parts of the world, girls are targeted for abuse and discrimination, from before birth and throughout their lives.
On the International Day of the Girl Child on 10th October, ADF India partnered with other leading organisations to reveal the winning entries to the ‘Celebrating Girls for LIFE’ short film competition, which creatively raised awareness of the value and dignity of every female.
“These winning entries demonstrate that storytelling is a powerful tool to change the world. In our society, women are being told that they are an ‘unnecessary nuisance’ and they face violence at every stage in their life. But women can change the world. As we celebrate the international day for the girl child, let us pledge to tell a story of hope and power to our girls,” said Tehmina Arora, Director, ADF India.
“India’s skewed sex ratio shows that, as a nation, we have failed girls. They are either aborted or, once born, subject to various forms of violence. Every child is precious. Both girls and boys have an equal right to life and liberty. Our nation cannot afford to lose its little girls to discrimination and neglect. India’s future is interlinked with the lives of the girls and women of the country.”
The campaign’s short film competition received over 70 entries from talented contributors. The winning entry, “The Winged Girl” by Kailas Jadhav, followed the true and empowering story of a young girl escaping from sale into forced marriage. In second place, Joel Matthew Thomas’s entry “Nihatha” highlighted the crucial importance of protecting girls from sexual abuse, while the third place winner, “And Then There Were None” by Johanna Durairaj, told a cautionary tale of the harms of sex-selective abortion from the perspective of an unborn child. According to UNICEF, every day, 7,000 baby girls are aborted across the country.
India ranks fourth worst in the list of countries with the most stark gender imbalance among children; but the #CelebratingGirlsforLIFE initiative, as well as the ongoing Vanishing Girls campaign, is working to change the narrative. Sharon Angel, TV Host and Humanitarian who participated as a judge in the competition praised the message behind the event. “We need to fight for girls’ rights,” she noted. Fellow judge and independent filmmaker Pearl Ganta encouraged NGOs and Media Houses to use digital medial even more in order to “be vocal and to bring a positive change.”
To learn more about the Campaign, click here.