It hardly matters whether the one reading this post is a girl or a boy. The reason, of course, is not the “democracy” the country has achieved in the past couple of years, but
The girls of the nation are still unaware of the rights that have been made for their safeguard.
Before the birth of a girl child, till she turns into a mature woman, laws have been enforced to protect her rights in every aspect.
But how many of them successfully reached their womanhood without being exploited in any respect?
According to Down to Earth, India recorded the highest female infanticide globally. Wikipedia presented the report of losing 500 thousand girls each in the country due to female foeticide in one of its articles.
Shockingly these are the reports of a single factor (female foeticide) of girl child exploitation. No one can imagine the number of girl children in India suffering from thousands of unique reasons for exploitation in their entire childhood.
There may be two reasons for this ongoing crime–One, the criminal is unaware of laws, or the victims are unaware of their RIGHTS. They can be aware of 100s of schemes launched by the Indian government for girl child development. Scroll down to know the basic yet essential laws protecting the rights of a girl child.
Laws Protecting The Rights Of A Girl Child
Right Against Female Foeticide
The provision of a girl child’s safety begins from the mother’s womb. Testing the gender of an unborn baby is illegal for the parent and the doctor itself, and aborting a girl child is a capital crime.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) of India describes a complete ban on prenatal sex checking in a bold letter. It was banned in 1994 and punishable. The guilty will fill a penalty fine of Rs.50000 with three years imprisonment. The judge can extend the punishment according to the seriousness of the crime.
We have to fight for these ill activities. If we drop our weapons against this violence, it will water the roots of the patriarchal mind. It will lead to gender discrimination and women violence.
It is the birthright of every girl to receive their minimum education. No parents can stop them from getting this education by justification, like household work, social norms, cultural norms, etc.
By understanding the importance of education, governments make all possible attempts to make it possible for everyone. According to the compulsory education Act of 2009, it is free for every child to receive their compulsory education.
Many cases came to the surface of violating the right to education of the girl child. The parents were fined, the schools were filled with a penalty, and the head of the institution was suspended. You can get government help if you find anyone who violates your right to education.
Abusive Family Members: Defensive rights with compensation
Abusive activities are punishable, even if it is the family. If a girl child faces any domestic violence from any family member, they have respective punishment. The government of India documented a Domestic Violence Act to protect the victims of such violence.
The Act punishes the guilty and arranges a safer place for the growth of the girl child. The Act covers every candidate the girl shares the house with. The punishment can extend up to 3 years with a penalty fine. The complaint can be filed by anyone on her behalf, including the victim herself, against the guilty family member.
It is tough to survive where your family is no longer safe. If you face such situations, speak out– for yourself or with anyone around your eyes. Speak out!
Raise in A Safe Environment: Birthright
You have the power to make a change if you find your environment is disturbing for growth. As children, they have the right to have a protected and safe environment. If the parents, any member of society, are creating a bad environment for the children living there, it is a punishable act.
The Juvenile Justice Act also clearly highlights the behavior of parents or guardians that can be considered illegal. Any child, including the girl child, has the right to grow in a safe environment.
Sexual Harassment: Rights and Strict safeguard
Sexual harassment cases are heightening at an alarming rate. It is not executed physically but also verbally bypassing sexual comments. Minors girls have government power against any kind of sexual harassment by anyone under any circumstances.
• Brothels-trapped and prostitution
The minor girls trapped in brothels are protected under the Juvenile Justice Act. All the rescued girls are given necessary treatments and rehabilitation. Numerous illegal activities are performed by these minor girls kidnapped from different corners of the country and sometimes from abroad. They were involved in prostitution and illicit sexual activities.
The rescued girls are offered protective homes with proper supervision by probation officers. The Juvenile Welfare Boards take every possible step to make their life normal. They were provided education and sometimes worked education along with food and shelter.
• Procuring of a minor girl for illegal intercourse
Minor girls have less knowledge about their sexual life, body, moods. If anyone forces or seduces any minor girl to have intercourse with himself or another person in such a case, then it is a punishable act.
With imprisonment of 10 years, the guilty have to pay a fine for this heinous Act.
Girl child trafficking
Kidnapping or abduction of a minor is a serious crime in India. The illegal use of these children for various illegal work that includes organ selling, prostitution, begging, etc.
Abducting a child under the age of 10 years is a non-bailable offense.
It is strictly mentioned that Section 363-A of the Indian Penal Code, rigorous retribution of the guilty if found kidnapping or maiming a minor to beg.
Child trafficking, especially girl child, is a shameful dent for the nation. It is still breathing between us. In one article of Wikipedia, they show the report of the National Crime Records Bureau- in every eight minutes, a child disappears.
India has rigorous retribution for this heinous Act. The one found guilty of child trafficking will be punished with imprisonment of 10 long years. The guilty also have to pay a fine to the victims and their families.
Child marriage has been forbidden in the long past. It is a statutory crime under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. The legal age of girls for marriage is 18, which is under close discussion, and the government is further planning to increase the age to 21.
The lawless work of child marriage is still present in some corners of the country. Child marriage contributes to destroying girls’ childhood, dreams, and future. The growth and development are getting restricted, and talents of the nation are burning their hands in the kitchen.
Right to Abortion
Every human has rights over their body. If a female is pregnant, then she has equal rights as the male partner, whether she wants to have that baby or not, if she is unmarried.
Abortion in India is legal under specific circumstances. If the girl is unmarried and above 18 years of age, she can have an abortion with her written consent. In the case of a minor girl, she needs to submit her parents’ consent to begin the process. Some states allow any single parent’s consent to have an abortion, but you will need both the parents’ involvement in some states.
Financial security has been provided to every girl child born in India: the government launched multiple schemes for girl child development.
Government schemes of India for girl child
Central government scheme:
● Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
● Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
● Balika Samridhi Yojana
● Mukhyamantri Rajshri Yojana
● Mukhyamantri Laadli Yojana
● CBSE Udaan Scheme
● National Scheme of Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education
● Dhanalaxmi scheme
State government scheme:
● Mukhyamantri Kanya Suraksha Yojana
● Mazi Kanya Bhagyashree Scheme
● Nanda Devi Kanya Yojana
● Tamil Nadu’sNadu’s Chief Minister’sMinister’s Girl Child Protection Scheme
● Kanyashree Prakalpa of West Bengal
Words from Lawzik
Why does India have so many schemes for the girl child? Why do government schools provide free education for single girl children? The reason is the alarm situation that has been created.
Without helping the situation of a girl child, we can not balance the men-women ratio of the country.
24 January is celebrated as National Girl Child Day to spread awareness among the general public about the situation of the girl child and their development. In 2008, it was instigated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the government of India.