In a society where raising girls is considered ‘a lot of work’, we must not shy away from the hard work necessary to ensure L.I.F.E. to her

The year was 1973. Some elders of a nomadic Rajasthani community considered the situation of a ‘sapera’ (snake-charmer) who was away for work, and his wife, who lay unconscious after giving birth to a baby girl – the seventh child of the family. They decided that the girl (born only a few hours ago) would be ‘a lot of work’. So, rather than giving her her rightful place at her mother’s bosom, they saw it fit to dig a hole and bury her alive. 

But the girl was rescued, and she survived. Her father fought for his daughter’s right to live, and readily chose to be abandoned by the community. The girl went on to take the folk-dance tradition of the Kalbaliya community to the world stage.

In 2016, Gulabo Sapera was awarded the coveted Padma Shri for her art. She brought recognition to the same community that didn’t see any value in her! 

Gulabo was fortunate that her parents, especially her father, were supportive in the face of a society that considers girls as ‘a lot of work’. But there are many who are not that fortunate and neither find support nor find the L.I.F.E (Love, Inheritance, Freedom, and Equality) that they deserve. 

The statistics are staggering, and yet there has been little to no reduction in the number of sex-selective abortions in the country. A 2021 ToI article pegged the number of convictions under the PCPNDT Act as only 614 over the past quarter of a century!  

Meanwhile, the girl child continues to suffer the consequences of being considered a liability and a burden to her family in our society, even before she is born. 

To combat the evil of sex-selective abortion, ADF India’s Vanishing Girls campaign works with several like-minded allies, state government bodies, public prosecutors, legal and civic bodies, social activists, medical professionals and ASHA workers to provide legal support as well as training to ensure acts have been implemented to protect the Girl Child are implemented effectively and adhered to strictly. 

Our training focuses on: 

Our legal experts would be glad to collaborate with you and organise free legal trainings for your organisation, church group, school, college, etc. to raise awareness about sex-selective abortion and empower the attendees in taking a strong stand against it. 

To know more about organising trainings with Vanishing Girls, you could: 

Read more about our past trainings here: vanishinggirls.in/trainings/ 

Art imitates LIFE - How a 2022 film FINALLY opens the mainstream discussion on sex-selective abortion

Updated on 15 July 2022

Divyang Thakkar’s directorial debut Jayeshbhai Jordaar did not make big splashes with its release on 13th May 2022. The film also received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. Though with flaws, this social dramedy deserves appreciation for attempting to draw the attention of mainstream media to a topic rarely discussed – sex-selective abortion.

Set in a village in Gujarat, the film follows the quest of a renegade couple (portrayed by Ranveer Singh and Shalini Pandey) to save their unborn girl child’s life from their own family, especially the patriarch (played by Boman Irani).

Despite Thakkar declaring, even before its release, that the film was “designed primarily as an entertainer”, the team seems to have done a fair bit of research on the topic. The film ties together a lot of underlying themes, practices, norms, and notions in the journey of the main characters.

Here are five moments from the film that highlight the inhuman practice of son-preference.

And yes, spoiler alert!

#1: How ultrasound technicians communicate the sex of the baby

(Copyright: Yash Raj Films / Amazon Prime)

Sex-selective abortion has been illegalised as per the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. Yet, many technicians have found creatively secret ways of indicating the sex of the unborn child. In the movie, the doctor (portrayed as largely well-meaning) indicates to the father (Ranvir Singh) that his baby will be a girl by simply saying “Jai Mata Di”. This is one of the most common ways used by technicians to communicate the sex of the baby.

#2: The pregnant wife feels duty-bound and guilty that she cannot “give the family an heir”

(Copyright: Yash Raj Films / Amazon Prime)

In many parts of India, the onus of birthing a male heir lies on the mother. This cultural notion has seeped so deep in the psyche of people that sometimes the woman feels guilty and responsible for not fulfilling the family’s expectation. It is sad to see how Mudra considers it her inherent duty to produce a son – something that is not in her control. Upon finding out that she is pregnant with a girl again, she despairingly asks her husband to leave her.

#3: A village that learns the hard way to appreciate and respect girls

(Copyright: Yash Raj Films / Amazon Prime)

The first episode of Aamir Khan’s 2012 show Satyamev Jayate, highlighting female foeticide, featured a village near Kurukshetra, Haryana where, due to an extremely skewed sex ratio, the men were unable to find a mate to marry. The village of Laadopur in Jayeshbhai Jordaar is loosely based on the village from the show, where the villagers have now fully realised the horrors stemming from sex-selective abortion. This also mirrors the probable condition of society at large, which can be adversely affected if the sex ratio continues to skew further. According to UNICEF, “Seven thousand fewer girls are born in India each day than the global average would suggest, largely because female foetuses are aborted after sex determination tests”.

#4: BIOLOGICAL FATHERS (not mothers) are responsible for the sex of the baby

(Copyright: Yash Raj Films / Amazon Prime)

Elementary biology lessons teach us that the father’s genes decide whether you will have sons or daughters. It is utterly illogical and unreasonable to blame the mother for the sex of the child.

#5: Girls should be seen as heirs and inheritors as much as boys

(Copyright: Yash Raj Films / Amazon Prime)

Culturally, daughters inherit the values, the culture, the traditions, and beliefs of their parents. They play an important part in imparting the same to future generations as daughters, mothers, wives, grandmothers, among other roles.

Legally, inheritance laws in India recognise that daughters are entitled to inheritance as much as sons.

GET INVOLVED

There is an urgent need to end the practise of sex selective abortions in India. Get involved in the Vanishing Girls campaign and host a film screening in your community to get a conversation started.  Write to us to let us know how we can help.

Or maybe you know someone who is being forced to undergo sex-selective abortion? We are a team of legal experts that can help. Reach out to us here.

Dear Fathers, your daughters inherit more than genes from you

17 June, 2022

We’ve all heard it – children attributing talents, temperament, mannerisms and physical features to their fathers. While reading this, many of you might even be led to think about all the things you have inherited from your father. That’s how we have been created. But inheritances are not just limited to facial, physical and behavioral legacy. The one we want to draw your attention to, on the occasion of Father’s Day, is legal legacy, or legal inheritance. 

The Indian Constitution guarantees gender equality before the law. Article 15 prevents the state from discriminating against any citizen of India or violating their equal rights on the basis of race, caste, religion, class, or sex etc. This equality cannot be achieved if women and girls are not economically independent. The right to inheritance is an important agency that empowers women and girls to secure this independence.  

India does not have any uniform law regarding property ownership and inheritance rights of women, which means the law in matters pertaining to inheritance and sharing of property differs for people from different faiths. 

Equal property rights of sons and daughters were recognised after the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 which stated that a daughter will have equal ownership in her father’s property even after she gets married. Prior to the amendment, daughters could only be ‘members’, not ‘coparceners’ (individuals who have a legal right to their ancestral property by birth). While coparceners could ask for partition and share of the property, members couldn’t. Once the daughter gets married, she stops being a member and therefore she loses her right to the share and maintenance of her father’s property. 

Landmark Judgements  

In many families across the country, strong patriarchal traditions have translated into fear of violence by their male relatives, preventing women from fighting for their inheritance rights. It has been 18 years since the amendment of The Hindu Succession Act (2005), but a lot of women, even educated ones, are in the dark about their inheritance rights.  

Here are 3 things every father/parent can do now to safeguard their daughter’s inheritance: 

  1. Stay informed on the different laws that apply to you as per your faith or custom 
  1. Draft a will. It is the best way to pass on assets. While nominations help in transferring movable assets like bank deposits or insurance policies, a will takes legal precedence over a nomination. Get a probate, if required, as it’s needed in some states 
  1. Talk to your daughter, as well as many others, about their inheritance rights. Spreading awareness about these rights is extremely important 

ADF India’s Vanishing Girls campaign is calling for proactive efforts by the Centre and state governments to enforce every daughter’s right to inheritance. Let’s move towards a future where daughters can freely claim their legal inheritance just as they claim other inheritances from you. 

YouTube disables DIY sex-determination videos after ADF India allied lawyers intervene 

Updated on 18 May, 2022 

Three months ago, YouTube took down several videos promoting gender-biased sex-selection after ADF India allies intervened. 

Targeted towards Indian married couples, these videos offered information on how to detect the sex of the foetus. It also endorsed and facilitated the indirect sale of gender determination kits/products. 

The fact that YouTube, which is owned by Google, allowed unrestricted streaming of content on gender-biased sex selection stands in clear violation of the Supreme Court orders in the case of Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 229

These videos further enable the viewers to gain information to circumvent the legislative intent underlying the restrictions of Section 22 of the PCPNDT Act, 1994

Addressing these issues, ADF India allied lawyers worked on a written complaint with Girls Count, one of ADF India’s Vanishing Girls campaign partners, and submitted it to Ms. Vidushi Chaturvedi, Former Director, Department of Health & Family Welfare on 12 December, 2020. The same was brought to the notice of the Nodal Agency, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi via email on 6 January, 2021. Subsequently, pursuant to the above, the Nodal Agency had sought clarifications from Google’s legal team. They responded to the complaints with clarifications via email on 7 February, 2022 and a few videos were accordingly disabled access from the country domain. 

However, some of these YouTube videos still continue to circulate in contempt of the guidelines of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Additionally, e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Dessertcart also advertise similar sex determination products, ready to be shipped in India.  

ADF India allied lawyers are working on a formal complaint to the Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare requesting to file a contempt towards the online content violations, against the Supreme Court orders in the case of Sabu Mathew George v. Union of India, (2018) 3 SCC 229, on behalf of the Ministry of State for Health and Family Welfare to ensure that the mandate of the PCPNDT Act, 1994 is scrupulously followed.   

LEGAL AID AND PREGNANCY HELPLINE 

ADF India provides free legal assistance through our panel of allied lawyers to women whose unborn girl children face in any way a hindrance to L.I.F.E (Love, Inheritance, Freedom, Equality). To know more, please visit www.adfindia.org/legal-aid.  

You may also call the pregnancy helpline at 0444 631 4300 or visit www.pregnancyhelpline.in 

SUPPORT  

We invite you to join us in our efforts to eradicate sex-selection in our lifetime and save the lives of thousands of girls who are aborted every day. To support our work, donate here

--------------- 

Vanishing Girls is a campaign initiated by ADF India to raise awareness against the practice of sex-selective abortions and to advocate for effective implementation of the Pre Conception Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994. 

Raise Your Hand

25th November is celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. At first thought, one can think of only two topics that comprise Violence against Women: domestic violence and rape - and (unfortunately) many times, they happen together. But when you think deeper about it, and realise how prevalent this issue is in our country, across classes, you understand that SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION IS VIOLENCE TOO!

It is the first (and the last) experience of violence for many unborn girl children. Their sex is illegally detected and they breathe their last even before their first cry. And it's not just an act of brutal violence against the child, but the mother as well, as her body goes through the unnatural process of abortion, which, in many instances, is absolutely against her will, and wreaks havoc on her physical and mental health.

And this heinous and diabolical practice of SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION is what ADF India's Vanishing Girls campaign advocates and fights against.

Here's what Vanishing Girls is asking you to do through the 16 days between 25th Nov & 10th December to raise awareness about SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION as violence against women.

We want you to get on your social media network, on IG, reels, FB, WhatsApp statuses, and #RAISEYOURHAND.
Raising one's hand is not just a metaphor for violence, but a way of voicing your opinion.

SO FOLLOW THESE STEPS
1. Draw an orange female icon symbol on your hand (Orange is UN's colour of choice for the observance) or us this Instagram filter
2. Get creative with what reel you choose to show that symbol: take on any trend that's floats your boat (we're sending some references)
3. Post it on IG, FB using #RaiseYourHand
4. Tag @Save_Our_VanishingGirls, and we'll repost your content

How Uttar Pradesh's Proposed Law Would Impact The Birth Of Girls

August 2021

The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh recently announced that it would enact the Uttar Pradesh Population (Control, Stabilisation and Welfare) Bill, 2021, which is purportedly aimed at addressing the issue of overpopulation. However, such a law, if enacted, would undoubtedly have a fatal impact on baby girls in the state. 

The draft Bill proposes to bar people with over two children from contesting local body elections, applying for, and getting promotion in government jobs and availing government subsidies, including government food rations at subsidized rates. Similar laws and policies also exist in eight other Indian states namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand. 

However, far from making development accessible to all citizens of India, such coercive laws and polices can result increased sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, given the deep-rooted and overwhelming preference for male children.  

A 2020 study by Nirmala Buch, a former senior IAS officer, found that the adoption of a two-child policy by states for panchayat elections resulted in a rise in sex-selective abortions; men divorced their wives to run for local body elections and families even gave up children for adoption to avoid disqualification in the election.

Situation in Uttar Pradesh

The state of Uttar Pradesh already has very poor child sex ratios.

As per the 2011 Census, Uttar Pradesh’s sex ratio for the overall population is 902 girls for every 1000 boys. As the per the Sample Registration System Statistical Report 2017 (SRS) released by the Census office in 2019, the child sex ratio had dropped to a dismal 878 girls for every 1000 boys in the state. 

A 2020 study by academicians from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia predicted that highest deficits in female births will occur in Uttar Pradesh, with a cumulative number of missing female births of 2 million from 2017 to 2030.

The introduction of coercive measures will only increase this number exponentially.

By penalizing the birth of additional children, such population control policies will result in families taking extreme measures to ensure the birth of a son, including choosing sex-selective abortions.

This is apparent in even the suggestions received by the UP law commission, that permission be granted to have more than two children if the two children are daughters. These suggestions from the public clearly reveals the bias that exists against female children. 

A 2021 article in the Lancet, noted that “...sex-selective abortion appeared to be more pronounced for third-order births than for second-order births after an earlier daughter or daughters. Sex-selective abortion continued to be more common in richer and more educated families than in poorer and less educated families, in contrast to differences in childhood survival and health-care access. The main determinant of missing female births in second-order and third-order births was an earlier daughter or daughters.” 

The Way Forward 

Researchers have repeatedly highlighted the need to strengthen policies that advocate for gender equity to counter the rise in sex selective abortions. To overall social development and a better standard of living, especially for the women, the governments should instead focus of education, ensuring no child marriages, access to contraceptives, and opportunities for employment for men and women.  

However, for real change in the culture each of us need to ensure that we pledge to save our #VanishingGirls by giving them LIFE – Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

We invite you to join the Vanishing Girls Campaign by signing the Pledge and supporting our work to bring legal awareness to women.

Interview With Dr. Ganesh Rakh - A Doctor On A Mission To Save The Girl Child

Dr. Ganesh Rakh runs a hospital in Pune, Maharashtra with a unique mission to save as many girl children as he can. In the past decade since he launched Mulgi Vachva Abhiyan (Marathi for "campaign to save the girl child"), Dr. Rakh and his team have delivered over 2,000 baby girls without charging any medical fee.

ADF India had the honor to interview Dr. Ganesh Rakh and hear from him as part of its Vanishing Girls (VG) campaign.

VG: What is the inspiration or motivation behind what you do?

Dr. Rakh: The biggest challenge for a doctor is to inform the family of a patient’s death. I used to be equally worried when I had to tell them that a girl was born. The relatives’ faces would turn sullen, the mother would start crying, and sometimes they even refuse to pay the bills. They would be so disappointed. On the other hand, male baby births were welcomed with jubilation and distribution of sweets! This is when I decided that I would waive off the fee if a girl is born in our hospital. Like how a male birth was welcomed, we cut cake, distribute sweets and celebrate the birth of the girl.

VG: What would you say is the root cause of daughter aversion or female feticide in India?

Dr. Rakh: In the past 10 years, India has lost over 630 lakh girls because of son preference*. This is because of a combination of many things. We hear in the news of 3–4-month-old baby girls being raped. The violent incidents against women and girls have shown that India is not a safe place for them. Parents assume that from birth to marriage and even after, there is much stress and tension associated with bringing up a daughter. From the moment a girl is born, parents worry about the dowry they’d have to arrange for her marriage. After marriage, they worry that she might give birth to a daughter. It is a vicious cycle! Instead of worrying, we should come up with ways to empower her so that she can stand on her own and not be bogged down by outdated traditions.

I used to think that female feticide was a rural problem, but I learnt that it was more common in the cities amongst middle- and upper-class societies. It is sad to see a high level of sex-selective abortion taking place even in other countries wherever the India population is high. Daughter aversion is an evil mindset in Indian society that needs to be uprooted. Only then will we see effective change.

VG: Through the Vanishing Girls campaign, we often share positive stories so that we can inspire people to do the same. Can you tell us how your work has impacted the families of the baby girls who were delivered in your care?

Dr. Rakh: It is a joy for me when parents pay me a visit to tell me that their daughters are doing well and accomplishing wonderful things. They tell me that they are glad they did not go through with the abortion because now their daughters bring much comfort and joy to them.

VG: How important has your family been to your work in this journey?

Dr. Rakh: I have a young daughter, Tanisha. Every baby girl I deliver or any young girl I get to help, I view them as my own daughter. My wife, Trupti, has always supported me despite all the challenges we faced. She has stood beside me and managed the hospital superbly all these years. Without them, it would have been impossible.

VG: What is your message for other doctors?

Dr. Rakh: As long as there is a demand for sons over daughters, the industry will always find a way to meet this need. There are many people willing to pay any amount to have a son and no law will be able to end this greed unless there is a collective change in our mindset. Committing the crime of sex-selective abortion is equally evil as murder. I urge doctors to shoulder the responsibility by understanding the gravity of the problem and choosing to save the girl child if faced with such an opportunity.

VG: Has the current covid pandemic led to an increase in sex-selective abortion?

Dr. Rakh: I believe so because the medical fraternity is occupied with tackling the pandemic. The census which was supposed to be released this year is also delayed because of Covid. When the Government publishes the report, maybe in a few years’ time, we will know the real numbers.

VG: We work with various influencers and artists to raise awareness on the topic of sex-selection. Do you think their role is important to fight this battle?

Dr. Rakh: Celebrities and influencers or artists with large number of followers on social media obviously have the capacity to impact people’s thoughts and actions. It is encouraging to see many of them use their platform to do good. If they share the message of saving the life of the girl child, even if one girl is saved, that is progress. Who knows? That girl may grow up to be a Prime Minister.

VG: Doctor, thank you for giving us your time. We are inspired by your story and your work. How can people support you or donate towards your work?

Dr. Rakh: It is not only I who can do such work. If my story has inspired you even a little bit, my only request is that you do what you must do in your own field or region. If everyone can shoulder the responsibility to save the lives of our baby girls, we can win the battle against sex-selection.

As part of the Vanishing Girls campaign, ADF India regularly conducts training for ASHA workers (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers and seminars with doctors to raise awareness against the practice of sex-selective abortions and to advocate for effective implementation of the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.

*Economic Survey 2017-18

Young Mother Disowned For Giving Birth To A Girl

Bhavna*, a young mother in Dhanbad, Jharkhand was disowned by her husband of three years in May 2020. She was abandoned for giving birth to a girl against the wishes of her husband and his family.

Bhavna with her daughter

After their marriage, Bhavna and her husband began living with his family, which included his parents, his elder brother and sister-in-law. Just two months into the marriage, Bhavna, 23 at that time, started getting harassed daily by her in-laws who demanded more dowry from her. Bhavna’s parents had already given her husband’s family 1.5 lakh rupees at the time of their marriage. She had to endure severe emotional and physical abuse in her marital home because she and her family could not meet their demands. Many times, they even forbade her from eating food or drinking water. Bhavna’s husband made no effort to protect her, instead he himself regularly inflicted abuse on her.

Bhavna’s struggles in her marital home worsened when she became pregnant. On January 25, 2020, halfway through her pregnancy, her husband and in-laws ganged up on her and beat her up. Blood poured out of her mouth as she was being attacked. She feared for her baby’s life and herself and managed to call her sister who came and rescued her. Bhavna had to be hospitalized because of the severity of the injuries she sustained from the attack. Thankfully, she did not lose the baby. Bhavna began staying with her parents after this incident. 

Bhavna gave birth to a girl on 28 May, 2020. Her parents had no means to support her daughter or the baby. Bhavna herself is uneducated and unemployed. In an effort to reconcile, Bhavna’s parents reached out to her in-laws on the phone. However, her husband refused to even come to see the baby. 

On 1 August, 2020, Bhavna’s parents took her back to her marital home with the baby. Her husband and in-laws, on finding that it was a girl, refused to accept the child as theirs. They said a girl child was of no worth to them. The in-laws also harshly informed them that they were looking for a more suitable bride for their son to marry, a bride who could bring a handsome dowry with her. They humiliated Bhavna’s family further by spewing insults at them and threw them out of the house.

This was the last straw of injustice for Bhavna. Gathering courage, she decided to fight for her daughter and herself. She filed a complaint at the Women’s Cell on 2 August, 2020. The authorities advised her husband to reconcile with his wife and take care of her and the child. However this led to no effective outcome. 

Bhavna heard of the legal aid services provided by ADF India's Vanishing Girls Campaign through a friend and reached out to us. Our allied lawyers helped her file another complaint with the Women’s Cell and a Domestic Violence petition against her husband and in-laws seeking monetary damages for what she had to undergo at their hands. An application seeking maintenance has also been filed on her behalf. 

Bhavna's case was admitted by the Court on 9 August 2021 and our allied lawyers were directed to file the notice to the husband. We hope for favorable hearing in this matter and hope that the final order will be passed in the Maintenance case by the end of March, this month.

Carrying out sex-selective abortions and demanding dowry are punishable offences under Indian law, but very often these crimes go unreported and therefore unpunished. In India, every day, 7000 girls are killed in the womb, just because they are girls. More than 20 women are killed everyday in our country due to the evil practice of dowry. These statistics reflect the low value that Indian society places on women and girls. Their right to equality is routinely violated even 70 years after the Indian Constitution came into force. There is no denying the fact that women in India have made considerable progress in the last fifty years but they continue to struggle due to social evils like son-preference and dowry. 

A research study has shown that the most immediate cause of son-preference or sex-selective abortion is the perception of daughters as economic and social liabilities due to factors like dowry costs, protection of daughter’s chastity and concern about her marriage. Mothers bear the full brunt of the scorn and shame that come from the birth of a female child. They consequently become victims of abuse, beatings, abandonment and sometimes, even murder.

“You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.”  - Jawaharlal Nehru

ADF India is committed to cultivating a future where human dignity is affirmed for all women and girls. Through our Vanishing Girls campaign, we advocate for the right of all women and girls to be loved, to have equal rights to the family inheritance, and to have their freedoms protected and promoted.

ADF India provides free legal assistance through our panel of allied lawyers to women like Bhavna who suffer for giving birth to girls. For more details, visit www.adfindia.org/legal-aid.

*name has been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

5.5 Million Girls Missing At Birth In India In 10 years

May 14, 2021

The Lancet, a leading medical journal, recently released a report documenting the trends in missing female births in India since the 1980s.

Here are some of the key learnings from the report:

  1. The total number of missing female births in India witnessed an increase of nearly 60%, from 3·5 million in 1987–1996 to 5·5 million in 2007–2016.
  1. North Indian states such as Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Rajasthan had the most skewed sex ratios. However, in almost all Indian states, families who already had daughters became more male-biased.
  1. During 2012-2016, the average sex-ratio at birth witnessed a drop with each new-born in the family:
  1. Girls with older sisters are at an increased risk of adverse health and survival outcomes.
  1. Missing female births are more common in richer and more educated families than in poorer and less educated families.
  1. The most cogent explanation for missing female births is prenatal sex determination followed by selective abortion.

India has had a long history with daughter-aversion stemming from social and cultural practices that enforce rigid norms of son-preference.  

ADF India’s Vanishing Girls campaign aims to eradicate sex-selection and save the lives of thousands of girls who are aborted every day. We are advocating for the strict enforcement of the Prohibition of Sex-Selection Act. In the past year, the campaign has impacted over 1,700 persons by raising awareness on the issue through various campaign events, training workshops and social media.

We provide free legal assistance, through our panel of allied lawyers, to women who are being forced to undergo sex-selective abortions and suffer abuse for choosing to give birth to girls. For more details, visit www.adfindia.org/legal-aid.

Sign the pledge to protect the Girl Child: www.vanishinggirls.in/sign-the-pledge

Her Canvas 2021 - Contest Winners

Her Canvas, a nationwide art competition that took place in January 2021, invited school students to paint, sketch or draw on the theme "Isn’t She Precious!" to celebrate the inherent worth of the girl child.

The art contest was part of a 40-day collaborative Vanishing Girls Campaign countering the false narrative that girls are a liability. It promoted the message that Daughters Deserve LIFE, where LIFE stands for Love, Inheritance, Freedom and Equality.

The Contest received over 1,800 entries, with 103 schools participating from 18 Indian states. Hundreds of children engaged on the topic and will grow up refusing to participate in social evils like sex-selective abortion.

Find the winning entries below:

WINNING ENTRIES

Tejaswaani Kapoor, 15, Uttar Pradesh, captures the warm bond of love between a mother and her daughter.
Tanisha Shilen, 17, Rajasthan, urges every one to let the Girl Child be born into the world and like flowers be given the opportunity to bloom in her strength and unique beauty.
Purva Kumta, 15, from Maharashtra expresses, “My painting depicts the girl child as who she truly is, a work of art. We always celebrate great woman. But to be great, the girl child needs to be encouraged and empowered to excellence from an early age. My painting emphasizes on the need to create an atmosphere of love, peace and equality for the girl child.”
Gargi, 15, Delhi, has creatively depicted in vibrant colours the inherent worth of the Girl Child.
Pragnya Kabi, 8, Maharashtra, aptly captures the theme of our contest: Daughters Deserve LIFE - Love, Inheritance, Freedom, Equality!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Saisha Verma, 15, from Chhattisgarh says "Girl Child Day is the only day dedicated to the little angels of our families. This day allows us to admire the daughters, their contributions and the splendor they bring to our homes".
Akshaj Dhadwal, 14, Delhi, has an important message through his art - "If girls are given better opportunities they can do even better than they are already doing despite the challenges they face. We should help and support them. It is the most significant need in the world at present."

List of Schools that participated:

Total: 103 schools from 18 Indian states.

SchoolState
1Air Force Golden Jubilee InstituteDelhi
2Akshar Arbol, ChennaiTamil Nadu
3Amruta Vidyalayam, MumbaiMaharashtra
4Auxilium SchoolTelangana
5Bethany High School, SarjapurKarnataka
6Bharti Public SchoolDelhi
7Buxi Jagabandhu English Medium SchoolOdisha
8Cambridge, Kandivali EastMaharashtra
9Dav Public School, NehrulMaharashtra
10Delhi Public School, PanvelMaharashtra
11Divine Mercy High SchoolGoa
12Dr. R. K. S. Masters Matric Higher Secondary SchoolTamil Nadu
13Eve's High School, AlwalTelangana
14Fr. Agnel Co. Ed. Sr. Sec. School, BhopalMadhya Pradesh
15Fransalian School Of Excellence, AurangabadMaharashtra
16Good Samaritan School, JasolaDelhi
17Good Samaritan, BijnorUttar Pradesh
18Good Shepherd International AccademyMaharashtra
19Greenpark International School, NamakkalTamil Nadu
20Guru Nanak Higher Secondary SchoolJharkhand
21Gurukul Olympiad SchoolMaharashtra
22Happy Model SchoolDelhi
23Heritage SchoolUttar Pradesh
24Jankidevi Public SchoolRajasthan
25K R Mangalam World School, FaridabadHaryana
26Kanaidighi Deshapran VidyapithWest Bengal
27Kendriya Vidyalaya JanakpuriDelhi
28Lakshdham High SchoolMaharashtra
29Leah Jones High School, KrishnaAndhra Pradesh
30LifeschoolKarnataka
31Little Flower High SchoolTelangana
32Mahoday Senior Public SchoolDelhi
33Mithibai CollegeMaharashtra
34Mount Carmel School, Anand NiketanDelhi
35Mount Carmel School, DwarkaDelhi
36Mount Zion AcademyTamil Nadu
37MVMSSS, Chetpet, ChennaiTamil Nadu
38New Era Public SchoolDelhi
39New Horizon Scholar SchoolMaharashtra
40Padma Seshadri Bala BhavanTamil Nadu
41Ramjas Public School Day Boarding DelhiDelhi
42Rosary Convent High SchoolTelengana
43Ryan At Joseph High SchoolMaharashtra
44Ryan Christian School, VashiMaharashtra
45Ryan Global School, KhargharMaharashtra
46Ryan Global School, KundalahalliKarnataka
47Ryan International School, AdajanGujarat
48Ryan International School, AmritsarPunjab
49Ryan International School, AryawartDelhi
50Ryan International School, BikanerRajasthan
51Ryan International School, BrookfieldKarnataka
52Ryan International School, ChemburMaharashtra
53Ryan International School, CochinKerala
54Ryan International School, DasnaUttar Pradesh
55Ryan International School, Dugri, LudhianaPunjab
56Ryan International School, EvershineMaharashtra
57Ryan International School, Goregaon EastMaharashtra
58Ryan International School, JaipurRajasthan
59Ryan International School, JalnaMaharashtra
60Ryan International School, MaladMaharashtra
61Ryan International School, MansarovarRajasthan
62Ryan International School, Mayur ViharDelhi
63Ryan International School, NoidaUttar Pradesh
64Ryan International School, Ozar , NasikMaharashtra
65Ryan International School, RohiniDelhi
66Ryan International School, SuratGujarat
67Ryan International School, Vasant KunjDelhi
68Ryan International, GhaziabadUttar Pradesh
69Sahoday Senior Secondary School, Hauz KhasDelhi
70Sahoday Senior Secondary School, Safdarjung EnclaveDelhi
71Saint Michael Senior Secondary SchoolDelhi
72San Academy Kamakoti Nagar ChennaiTamilnadu
73Sankara Vidya KandraTamil Nadu
74SBOA School And Junior CollegeTamil Nadu
75Sharada Mandir SchoolGoa
76Shri Shivaji Vidyalay BeedMaharashtra
77Skyline School Greater NoidaUttar Pradesh
78Somerville School, Greater NoidaUttar Pradesh
79Spring Valley SchoolKerala
80Sri Sankara Vidya KandraTamil Nadu
81St. Aloysius High School, Nalasopara EastMaharashtra
82St. Anns High School BolarumTelangana
83St. Augustine High School, Nerul, Navi MumbaiMaharashtra
84St. Claret SchoolWest Bengal
85St. Francis High School, Tidke Colony, NashikMaharastra
86St. Francis High School, Vasai WestMaharashtra
87St. Joseph High School, New PanvelMaharashtra
88St. Lawrence High School, VashiMaharashtra
89St. Mary's English High School, GeddalahalliKarnataka
90St. Mary's Senior Secondary School, Bahuakbarpur, RohtakHaryana
91St. Michael Junior School, Prasad NagarDelhi
92St. Michael Senior Secondary School, Pusa RoadDelhi
93St. Paul AcademyUttar Pradesh
94St. Xavier High School, Borivali EastMaharashtra
95St. Xavier's College, RanchiJharkhand
96St. Xavier's High School, AiroliMaharashtra
97St. Xavier's High School, Durg BorsiChhattisgarh
98St. Xavier's High School, Mira Road, Shanti NagarMaharashtra
99St. Xavier's High School, NagpurMaharashtra
100Sunbeam Varuna VaranasiUttar Pardesh
101Victoria Girls Primary SchoolDelhi
102Vidya Niketan School, SaketDelhi
103Vishwajyot High School, KhargharMaharashtra