On the occasion of ‘International Day of the Girl Child’, Bollywood star and celebrity advocate of UNICEF, Ayushmann Khurrana says in his message to the nation- ‘As long as discrimination and violence against girls continues, our Society will not be able to become developed and caring for all. Youth-icon and Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana is a true thought-leader who intends to bring about a constructive, positive change in the society through his progressive and entertaining films that touch on social issues.
Time magazine has named Ayushmann as one of the most influential people in the world and recently UNICEF made him a celebrity advocate for its global campaign, EVAC (End Violence Against Children). Ayushman has given a special message to the countrymen on the occasion of International Girl Child Day.
Like boys, girls also get complete freedom
Ayushman says- “As a celebrity advocate of UNICEF in the campaign to end violence against children, I believe that discrimination and violence against girls is not a good thing at all. In this way, our society will never be able to become developed and caring for all. The challenges faced by girls have increased due to COVID-19. Girls do not have complete freedom to use mobile or internet like boys, which also hinders remote learning for them. Apart from this, in the matter of health, nutrition and other needs also, they are not treated at par with boys in the family.”
He further said, “The cases of gender-based violence have increased due to the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that child marriages have also increased by 50 per cent during this pandemic.
The actor also said, “On International Girl Child Day, we all need to pay special attention to the challenges faced by girls and the discrimination faced by them. It is also very important to make girls capable of standing on their own feet and protecting their human rights. We should give more importance to the education of girls, they should also get equal rights as boys, they should also be given opportunities to learn many new skills and get employment. At the same time, they should move forward with boys and men to remove the male dominated thinking in the society.
Girls should get equal rights in India
Explaining his goalpost in India as an EVAC advocate, Ayushmann says that his goal is to educate people about the needs of the girl child. He says, “I want to take this issue to the public so that discussions can start about it and help all of us understand the challenges that girls still face today. I want to explain to the people, how we all can change this situation and what should be our role in changing it. Even in some simple ways, we can start making a difference.”
Ayushmann says, “First of all, we all need to be aware of our attitude within the boundary wall of the house. Can we identify the discrimination faced by girls in our home in small matters? For example, girls eating after their brothers, not being allowed to play outside, being allowed/not allowed to use phone and internet for short periods, different curfew-times for girls and boys, Things like these immediately come to our mind. There will be a change in the family by eliminating such practice. At the same time, we will learn to value and respect girls.”
Ayushman Khurana also spoke on child marriage
He further said, “Secondly, gradually now the schools are also opening safely and in such a situation, the most important thing is that all the parents should send their children and girls again to school by following the COVID protocol. needed. Girls who complete schooling are less likely to get married at an early age. Along with studies, skilling enables girls to take decisions on their own, and thus their lives are enriched. This improves the future of both girls and boys and creates an environment in the society where they can take full advantage of their potential.
The actor further added, “It is because of the low importance of girls’ education that incidents like child marriages happen, and thus the problem of violence against girls, poverty and ill health persists from generation to generation. However, India has succeeded to a great extent in reducing the cases of child marriage. Despite this, even today one in three cases of child marriage is related to India. Lastly, most importantly, as parents, friends, peers, we must work together to end this violence culture by changing the old and clichéd conventions.”
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