5 Feb : POSTAGE STAMP RELEASED ON THE GIRL CHILD DAY,The National Child Awards for exceptional achievements in various fields were presented at a function held here today. Awards were given away to 40 children for 2007 and 2008 in recognition of their exceptional abilities in academics, arts, culture and sports. Each child was presented with a Medal, cash prize and a citation. A postal stamp to commemorate National Girl Child Day was also released on the occasion.
Presiding over the function, Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Renuka Chowdhury said that the achievements of the children give glimpses of their amazing talent and awards are recognition of their talent. She said that in coming years, India would be the youngest nation in terms of number of youth. Hence nurturing the talent of the children would ensure bright future for the nation. Expressing concern over the incidents of female foeticide, she said that the Government has strengthened various legislations and has established machinery to protect the rights of the children but there is need for mass awareness to ensure effective implementation of these legislations.
Highlighting the Government’s initiatives for empowerment and welfare of girl child, the Minister said that there have been the untiring efforts of the Government to ensure that the girl child is allowed her rightful place in the society with respect to right to life, right to nutrition and right to equal treatment. To bring the issues concerning girl child into the broad national conscious, the Government has declared 24th January as the National Girl Child Day, she added.
Releasing a stamp to commemorate National Girl Child Day, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Thiru A. Raja said that Indian tradition has always accorded a very high place to women in society. ‘However, some of the harsh realities on the treatment meted out to girl children have not only been shocking but despicable’. He said that discrimination against girl children mitigates the vision of a modern Indian that our founding fathers conceptualized. But our society has time and again shown its resolve and resilience to fight against any social evil and has demonstrated in certain terms to the world our commitments on the path of progress in this direction.
Presenting the awards, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, UPA said that the children are the asset of the country and all efforts should be made to protect their rights. Expressing concern over recent incidents of atrocities on child, she said that we should all stand against such incidents firmly. She said that there is need to strengthen labour laws to check the child labour and to run campaign to stop child marriages and discrimination against girl child. Highlighting recent initiatives taken by the UPA Government for the welfare of children and women, she said that ICDS has been expanded, honorarium for Anganwadi workers enhanced, National Commission for Protection of Children has been set up and more support is being provided to women’s self help groups.
On the occasion, National award for Child Welfare were also presented to 10 organisations and three individuals for rendering valuable services for the welfare of children. The awards included Rupees three lakh and a certificate for each institute and Rs. 1 lakh and a certificate for each individual.
Three well-known personalities were also awarded Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva Award for making outstanding contribution towards service to children. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and a silver plaque and a citation. These awardees were: Dr. Azariah, Korabandi, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Meena K. Jain, Karnataka and Shri Maheshbhai S. Kothari, Gujarat.