Let Girls Be Girls!
Today is International Day of the Girl Child. To quote from the UNWomen website:
One of the issues standing in the way of girls’ progress is child marriage. The data is daunting—one in three girls in developing countries (except China) get married before they turn 18. Girls who are child brides miss out on education, are more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared. The cycle of violence that begins in girlhood, carries over into womanhood and across generations. The 2030 Agenda must address their needs and unlock their potential.
UN Women works around the world to empower women and girls and raise awareness on their rights, advocate for the adoption and implementation of laws and policies that prohibit and prevent child marriage, and mobilize communities against the practice.
On the International Day of the Girl Child, Divya Disha recommits itself to its works with girls and its support to girls everywhere. Let girls be girls.
Since 2005, we have been running Balikaniketan a residential institution for girls in need of care and protection in Hyderabad.
The girls residing here are runaways, many from the threat of child marriage, street children, orphans, semi-orphans, HIV infected/ affected or those whose parents cannot provide for them and have been sent to us under direction from the local Child Welfare Committees.
Divya Disha ensures that their physical, emotional, psychological and educational needs are taken care of and they are given a safe and nurturing environment in which to grow and blossom.
Today, on International Day of the Girl child, we’d like to share with you recent celebrations of the Bathukamma festival at Balikaniketan.
The festival of Bathukamma festival is unique to the state of Telangana. It is a flower festival celebrated by the women during of nine days during the Navratri – before Dusherra. You can read more about it here.
The girls and our women staff took great pleasure in preparing the bathukammas, doing the traditional dances and generally enjoying the festival.
What was a pleasure to witness was the presence of women from the neighborhood who spontaneously joined our girls in the celebration, reinforcing our belief in the power of community to make children feel included and nurtured.
Here are a few pictures and a video of our girls being girls!
If you would like to support our work with girls, go here to find out just how you can do that. go here