India is a hub of festivals and socio-cultural beliefs, movement of sun being one of them. As the Sun begins its movement towards the Northern Hemisphere, also termed as ‘Uttarayan’-symbol of positivity, it marks the beginning of festivals like Lohri, Makar Sakranti, Baisakhi, Basant Panchami etc. and is considered appropriate time to take auspicious resolutions. Making the most of this propitious time span, Santulan-The Gender Equality Program of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan (DJJS), carries out sensitization campaign, under the banner ‘Kanya Bachao’ every year in the month of January to create value for girl child and strive for elimination of menaces like sex selective abortions and gender discrimination. This year too, beginning it from January 10, 2020 to January 29, 2020 (i.e. Basant Panchami), 20-days long drive is being conducted nationwide in various ways to widely spread positivity by pledging to save girl child.
Globalization has greatly contributed to extension and generalization of festival celebration from certain regions to across India. Consequently, festivals like Lohri and Makar Sakranti are now being celebrated PAN India with equal vigor. This has helped in reaching masses to spread awareness under the said campaign and bring about change in mindsets with spiritual awakening. Santulan, with finesse in the field of mass sensitization against female feticide, is taking up and organizing festivities during these period like haldi-kumkum get-togethers with exchange of gifts and messages to save girl child; kite-flying in public grounds with attached messages to respect women and value girl child; pot-luck session to gauge public opinions on parenting a girl child, etc. Bonfire, being a custom of Lohri festival, is arranged in the end of the program, wherein, participants pen down crimes against women on newspapers and burn them in bonfire as a pledge to burn these evils from inside and bright up the future for generations to come. The vision is to generate awareness among individuals to welcome girl child with warmth and release themselves from the fetters of gender stereotypes and misconceptions against girl child with its distinct spiritual mechanism. Popcorn, gazak, revri, til laddu are some inevitable elements of these seasonal festivals and thus, form part of campaign in the form of gifts & prasaad.
To everyone’s notice, it is severely difficult to make a mark and survive in this society for girls. Santulan has been successfully running countless campaigns across India to ease this toil and establish a gender-just society. Under the divine guidance of DJJS’ Founder & Head Shri Ashutosh Maharaj ji, the festivals which were observed only for male child, are now being dedicated to girl child and commemorated as girl child festivals under the aforesaid campaigns. Information counters to counsel attendees with print material as well as mind conditioning are also being arranged post the sensitizing programs.