India 'Girl Child' Campaign Releases Handbook

January 29, 2008 - IFES

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Young people in Rajasthan are using a new tool to educate their community about the dangers of female feticide and the value of women in a democratic society. The Society to Uplift Rural Economy (SURE), which is supported by IFES, produced this handbook which was released by famed Indian dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai and scholar/activist Swami Agnivesh in Jaipur on January 26 or Indian Republic Day. The handbook answers common questions about the ‘dignity of the girl child’, female feticide and adverse sex ratio issues, and includes campaign slogans, success stories and a letter from the governor of Rajasthan. The handbook will be used by more than 1,300 ‘peer educator volunteers’—young people who have been trained to raise awareness about this sensitive issue with their friends and families. SURE is working on this project with urban youth in Jaipur in collaboration with the National Service Scheme, a government-run youth program. The youth have conducted signature campaigns, rallies and used festivals to promote the dignity of the girl child at area colleges. Rajasthan has one of India’s lowest sex ratios.