Sharmila Tagore expresses concern over apathy to girl child

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New Delhi, Feb 3 (UNI) Lamenting the plight of the girl child in India, well-known actor and Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF India Sharmila Tagore says a girl child undergoes sufferings in every phase of her life in our society, right from the day she comes in the womb till the day she meets her end.

The gorgeous woman, who was in the capital on Friday as Chief Guest at the felicitation ceremony of 8th CRY Cadence Corporate Cricket Challenge (5Cs), however, said with the right kind of support and encouragement, the rampant discrimination towards the girl child would certainly go to the grave.

''We need to strike a balance of the mindsets of both men and women. And to bring a change, every individual of the society has to work together, they will have to stand up for the rights of children, especially the girls,'' the veteran actor said, adding that the solution of this serious issue was with the people and they just needed to make a long term commitment.

Addressing the mediapersons, the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) said, ''Education is one thing which can enhance women's role in the society and in their family. It's a human right. But, sadly, in our country it still remains privileged.'' Ms Tagore, further expressing her concern towards female foeticide, quoted from Health Ministry's campaign stating ''Happy Girl Child is the future of India'' and said efforts were to be made to help increase the sex ratio which had reached an alarming low in recent times.

Appreciating CRY's (Child Rights and You) efforts to take up such an issue and initiating the campaign ''Eliminate Discrimination, not the girl child'' through their eight years of commitment the actor said, ''The 5Cs has given a chance to both the corporate India and girl child to be winners. It also highlights that the time has come for collectively pledging and taking affirmative action for protecting rights of the girl child.'' ''Both cricket and girl child have been in news lately for wrong reasons. While India 'down under' saw a spiraling racial abuse charge being levelled against its players, parents of a new born baby girl in Kerela have been arrested for strangulating her to death and dumping her on the roadside,'' the actor averred.

Asking parents not to discriminate between their children over their sex, the former leading lady of Bollywood said she was lucky as her parents loved all her three siblings equally and were never worried that they did not have a boy.

The actor, who has spent almost 50 years in the film industry is busy and enjoying her work as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in a move to help the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country.

After being charged-up receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the sixth Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), the lady is all set to bag awards of other categories as she is to act in 'Tasveer', a film being directed by Nagesh Kuknoor of ''Iqbal'' fame. She will also be seen judging a reality show on television.

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