Lohri is one of the conventional festivals in India, and is traditionally called as ‘Sun’ to the northern tract. It is believed that the festival of folk songs, sweets, bonfire and dance brings light and delight to the society. Santulan – the Gender Equality program of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan organizes a sensitizing campaign under the banner “Kanya Bachao” to encourage the birth of girl child. This annual campaign begins from January 13 that is Lohri, and runs uptill January 24 that is National Girl Child Day. This year too, the campaign was carried out with vivacity and zest to raise awareness for saving girl child, particularly in northern region of the country.
Series of sensitizing workshops were organized in schools, colleges, coaching centers, private and public offices etc. with exhaustive menu of informative activities to enlighten the attendees in gender perspective. Each workshop started with brief of Santulan’s ideology and approach, followed by nukkad natak showcasing how secretly and brutally a female fetus is stabbed and deprived of survival, and an educative talk along with powerpoint presentation on the theme ‘It’s a girl’ by Sadhvi disciple of HH Ashutosh Maharaj Ji, founder and head of Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan. The presentation outlined the social evil of female feticide including its possible causes, consequences, present statistics and how it can be eliminated.
An exquisite bonfire was also organized post workshop as a pledge to join hands, burn the evil inside and raise voice against gender based violence. These workshops play a vital role in the elimination of female feticide, as they work as preliminary sessions to educate masses in regards to gender based issues. A bunch of dedicated attendees are shortlisted to create Girl child forums. These forums include list of people diligently working towards eradication of female feticide and sex selective abortions, and will further join the walk with Santulan to attain the specified goal of gender equilibrium.
Santulan is exhorting masses to make Kanya Bachao a mass movement and direct their efforts towards an overall mindset change in the society; thereby creating value for girl child. Through numerous campaigns under its ongoing initiative “Tu Hai Shakti”, the organization is heading forward in the hope of light for the girl child.
The trend of girl child lohri set by the organization in the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has already picked its pace and being celebrated now all across the regions with the spirit to establish equal space for the girl child.