Kolkata: Stepping out of the popping crease with the right foot forward and effortlessly steering the red cherry beyond the boundary – that’s what the legendary leftie was always known for, in his illustrious career with the willow. His engagements changed as he moved on from cricket to cricket administration, but his personal priorities clearly haven’t. An idealist as ever, the flamboyant southpaw goes out in the middle once again, to step out with his ‘Right’ foot forward to bat for a cause – this time, rights of the girl child.
‘The Prince of Kolkata’, as christened by Sir Geoff Boycott, and yet better known as the very own ‘Dada’ to the cricket-loving Indians, Sourav Ganguly takes up the cause of girl-child education, as he supports ‘Right To School’, a campaign initiated by a leading child rights organization CRY – Child Rights and You.
Through this campaign CRY aims to create a world where the girl child is celebrated for what she is – where she has access to equal opportunities to study, to grow and to prosper as her male counterpart. The pan-India campaign would aim to help 1,21,000 girl children across CRY-supported projects getting back to school. “Among the numerous hurdles girls face on their road to education, the most difficult is the mindset that a girl child is not a ‘worthy-enough’ investment. When people like Sourav make an effort to try and change this thought process, it makes a huge difference. Proper education can bring about a cycle of positive change. It helps ultimately to create a whole pool of more aware, educated and empowered girls and women capable of influencing the community they live in for the better. This first step of attitude change is critical to achieve this outcome,” said Vatsala Mamgain, Director, Resource Mobilisation, CRY – Child Rights and You.
Pledging his support to the campaign, Sourav said, “For me a girl, in whichever form she is, whether it’s a mother or a child or a friend’s daughter, is one of the most beautiful things in the modern world. I am a proud father of a very pretty and clever young girl in Sana, so I understand what it is to have a girl as a child. But, it is also true that majority of our girl children stay in villages, they stay in areas on the outskirts of the city and they don’t get the best facilities in school and I have seen it with my own eyes. So it’s our duty, whether it’s a school or public life, to provide facilities to the girl child so that they don’t drop out of school and fade away from education. And I do hope, we’ll treat them in a much better way because they are very important.”
He also urged his followers to help bring the girl child back to school.
That in many parts of India, the birth of a girl child is not welcomed is a known fact. It is a known fact too, that discrimination starts from even before the girl child is born and sometimes she killed as a foetus, and if she manages to see the light of day, she is killed as an infant makes up the highly skewed child sex ratio where for every 1000 boys in India, there are only 908 girls. In such a scenario, it is but obvious that for myriad reasons, many girls across the country are forced to drop out of school.
To listen to what Sourav has to say about the girl child, please click on (https://youtu.be/08PiWa1BkKY )
To know more about the CRY campaign, please log on to (http://cry.org/microsite/rts-for-girl-children/