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For the first time in the post independence period, Girl Child became a subject matter for special inquiry among the official circles during the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) decade of the Girl Child (1990 –2000). Several base line surveys, micro- studies, region- specific case histories and narratives provided the database for a macro-profile on health issues concerning Girl child. According to SRS, in 1997, girls constituted 35.4 % of total female population i.e. our country has more than 1/3 of total female population in the age group of 0-14 years. From 1951 to 2001, Life expectancy at birth for Indian girls has improved, both in terms of absolute years and in terms of percentages.


The girl child is perceived as a burden to be passed on to another family. Her contribution in the household economy is unacknowledged. The adverse attitude towards the girl child signals the catastrophe of serious demographic imbalance and degeneration of socio-economic conditions. Unfortunately, the rejection of the unwanted girl begins even before her birth. Prenatal sex determination tests followed by quick abortions eliminate thousand of female foetuses before they can become daughters. Those unfortunate girls who manage to survive till birth and beyond, find the dice heavily loaded against them. In a male dominated society, girls are denied equal access to food, health care, education, employment and even simple human dignity. Here sacrifice and dedicated services ensure the well-being of the family, but in return, she receives neglected childhood devoid of proper education and health care.Education & Health of Girl Child by Vibhuti Patel

Declaration of SAARC highlighted three main areas for strategic intervention to improve quality of life for girls. They are survival and protection of the girl child and safe motherhood, overall development of the girl child and special protection for vulnerable girl children in difficult circumstances and belonging to special groups. Government of India has taken the following measures for capacity building among girl child.

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