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Plan India to celebrate the first ever ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ by illuminating key monuments in pink

New Delhi, 9th October 2012: Plan India, the leading child-centred community development organisation, as a part of it’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ (BIAAG) campaign is celebrating the first ever ‘International Day the Girl Child’ by illuminating iconic monuments in colour pink.

Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Purana Quila in Delhi, and Charminar in Hyderabad will be illuminated pink on October 11 to create awareness and mobilize support for girls’ rights.

A historic milestone for girls' rights was reached when the United Nations recently declared October 11thas the International Day of the Girl Child. Plan led the global advocacy efforts for this special day to influence global leaders and all duty bearers to ensure effective implementation of programs & policies promoting equal rights and opportunities for girls.

Bhagyashri Dengle, Plan India’s Executive Director said: “The illumination of landmark monuments is a symbolic nationwide call for all to join hands together to support girls’ rights.  A girl in India faces barriers at every stage of her life including violations of her right to get access to quality education, proper healthcare, and protection from abuse & exploitation. Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl Campaign is committed towards galvanising action to ensure every girl is able to realize her full potential.”

Announcing its plans for International Day of the Girl, the organisation also released key findings of ‘Learning for Life’ - the fourth report in its annual ‘State of the Girl Child in India’ series. The series is being published for the last few years as a build-up to the global launch of BIAAG campaign. This year’s report ‘Learning for Life focuses on building the human capital of girls through knowledge and skills, aiming to equip, enable and empower girls of all ages to acquire the assets, skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life.

In year 2009 Plan India released the first report on the State of the Girl Child in India, analyzing the overall challenges faced by girls. The State of the Girl Child in India 2010 report focused on lives of adolescent girls in two of the fastest growing social action arenas in the world today- the urban environment and the space of internet and mobile communications. The third report in 2011 examined the engagement of men and boys towards gender equality in India.

The report was released by Mr. Govind Nihalani, Chairperson, Governing Board, Plan India, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India and Mr. Anil Kapoor, Patron & Goodwill Ambassador, Plan India.

Speaking at the occasion Mr Anil Kapoor, Patron & Goodwill Ambassador, Plan India, said: “I have supported Plan India for over six years now and have worked closely for various causes including Birth Registration, violence against children, and human trafficking. However the cause of girls remains closest to my heart as I am a father to two wonderful daughters. I am very sure that a unique initiative such as this will generate a lot of mass interest and  help bringing us a step closer to working together to safeguard all the daughters of our country. As responsible citizen of our country, it is important that each one us to get involved.”

Mr. Govind Nihalani, Chairperson, Plan India, said: ‘Because I am a Girl’ is Plan’s global campaign designed to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights, and lift millions of girls out of poverty providing them an opportunity to reach their full potential. BIAAG initiative is designed mainly to empower the girl child and help them realize their potential and skills.”

Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India, said: “Over next five years, Plan’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign aims to support millions of girls worldwide to get the education, skills and support they need to transform their lives and the world around them.  In India we aim to ensure over 3, 40, 000 girls remain in school and access quality education, 1,00,000 girls complete secondary school through various school improvement program and  50,000 girls receive vocational training by the year 2015.”

'Because I am a Girl’ is Plan India’s campaign to promote girls' rights and lift them out of poverty. It is geared towards equipping, enabling and engaging girls of all ages to acquire the assets, skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life. Plan India is attempting to initiate change at a number of levels (i.e. local, national and international) with the assistance of a number of partners.

About Plan India

Plan India is an Indian NGO working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children, their families and communities through an approach that puts children at the centre of community development. Since 1979, we have been working with our partners to help children access their rights to proper healthcare, basic education, and healthy environment, protection from abuse and exploitation and participation in decisions that affect their lives. We encourage children to express their views and be actively involved in improving their communities. Plan India currently works in 11 states in India, across 5000 communities and has touched the lives of over a million children.

About the Because I am a Girl Campaign

“Because I am a Girl” is a global initiative launched by Plan to promote girl’s rights and lift millions of them out of poverty. It is geared towards equipping, enabling and engaging girls of all ages to acquire assets, skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life. The Because I am a Girl campaign aims to reach out million girls directly, in terms of bringing about improvement in girls’ lives with access to school, skills, livelihood participation and protection.   Plan intends to use the results of its studies to strengthen its programmes relating to the rights of the Girl Child and advocate with the Government and civil society partners to ensure men and boys engagement in areas of nutrition, education, health care, decision making and women’s economic and political rights.