A weeklong campaign “RakshBandhan, Suraksha Ka Bandhan” was launched today in Ranchi jointly by the Department of School Education & Literacy, UNICEF & CINI, across Jharkhand. This campaign will be conducted in all Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBVs) & Jharkhand Balika Awasiya Vidyalaya (JBAVs) of the state from 23rd to 30th August.

Raksha Bandhan which literally translates to the thread of safety, protection and love is a perfect opportunity to reinforce our society's intent to protect the interest of girls and promote their welfare. The purpose of this campaign is to harness the essence of Rakshabandhan festival to create awareness among girls and teachers about gender discrimination, child marriage, female foeticide, sexual abuse, human trafficking, & domestic violence etc. This campaign will encourage girls to support each other against gender discrimination and in increase their self-respect, self-confidence and self-defence through activities planned throughout the week in KGBVs and JBAVs. 

Nominated teachers from these schools will facilitate activities such as - tying Rakhi by KGBVs & JBAVs girls to each other and slogan writing and painting competitions on ‘women in non-traditional roles & women/teens inspire me’, screening of UNICEF’s Meena stories and films from CINI’s spandan package; skit play by girls in on women and adolescent issues. Girls will take oaths to commit support to each other, being together to continue their education, deal with emotional challenges and negative gender norms etc. 

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Ms. Kiran Kumari Pasi, Director, JCERT and JEPC, said, “We are using this occasion of Rakshabandhan to create awareness in the society regarding gender discriminations and challenges faced by the girls. We are ensuring that all girls from KGBVs and JBAVs participate in this campaign. Solidarity of girls to combat gender stereotypes is important. I hope that the message that the girls get through this campaign and its activities on the ills of gender discrimination, they take it back to their families and to the community.”

She further said, “I am sure that this campaign, which is being organized under the joint aegis of JCERT, CINI and UNICEFand other supporting partners will be able to address problems related to gender discrimination and help spread awareness about this in the society. Through this campaign, girls will come together and become pillars of support and strength for each other, and I am sure that our society will become more child-friendly and sensitive towards women’s issues through this campaign.”

Speaking on this occasion, Dr Kaninika Mitra, Chief, UNICEF Jharkhand said, “Some traditional festivals such as Raksha Bandhan have a great impact on the society, and they can contribute significantly around gender and gender awareness. This festival has been celebrated since ancient times as a celebration to appreciate the protective love of brothers towards sisters. Through this campaign, we are marking the week preceding Raksha Bandhan to expand the concept of protective love between brothers and sisters to also include solidarity amongst KGBV girls.

The idea is to reinforce that girls as friends, sisters, and supporters may also become each-other’s strength and support each other in continuing education, maintaining high self-esteem, dealing with bullying and harassment, and raising a collective voice against child marriage and different forms of exploitations.This feeling of love and cooperation, which is expressed through Raksha Bandhan can be utilised to create a gender-sensitive environment in the society, where all girls feel safe and have equal rights & opportunities in the society.”

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