Dr. Sheela Mane is a senior gynecology consultant and has been associated with The Family Planning Association of India for over a decade. On the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11, 2017), she speaks with RJ Padma Priya about empowering girls by providing them education and looking after their nutrition. Today’s girl is tomorrow’s woman, she says. She also emphasises the importance of educating a boy so that he learns to respect a girl. “Both a girl and a boy must be treated equally.”
Dr. Mane compares a girl child to the nucleus of a cell and says that as long as the nucleus is working properly, the cell is fine; if the girl child is brought up well, then the family will function well, and so will the nation and the world.
Dr. Mane mentions an initiative by the Government of India called ’12/12′, which means that 12-year-old girls should have 12 gm of haemoglobin in their bloodstreams. In India, young girls are prone to anaemia, because of which they might later give birth to anaemic children.
No form of violence against girls or women should be encouraged, be it physical, emotional, or of any other kind. Every girl should be taught well so that she can stand up boldly and be confident about herself. “All types of inequality should be abolished,” says Dr. Mane.
Dr. Mane believes that the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child) campaign will be successful only if we teach the girls to be independent so that they can take their own decisions and progress in life.
Written by Deepika Pishey.