AMN / New Delhi
UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador, Priyanka Chopra on Saturday said that adolescents today face a unique set of challenges and giving them the tools to improve their lives will help create a generation of economically-independent citizens who will actively contribute to their communities.
Interacting with a group of young girls and boys along with media, during a special interaction in the capital, she said,“Adolescents, today, face a unique set of challenges. Helping them to pursue their dreams will improve their lives and will help to create a generation of economically independent citizens who will actively contribute to their communities. Through investment in adolescents, a complete generation can be lifted from the shackles of poverty.”
“I strongly believe that our regular efforts in empowering adolescent girls will contribute to the growth of our country” she added.
A study titled ‘Supporting Adolescent transition to adulthoods — What works and What Doesn’t’ was also released on the occasion. The study is based on the findings of Unicef’s joint study with Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a global research network, that explores evidence on social protection measures for adolescents.
On child marriage, she said, “A girl married as a child is prone to a lot of challenges. She is more likely to be a school dropout, experience domestic violence and face consequences of early pregnancy which can eventually increase the chances of her death due to the complications during pregnancy and childbirth.”
On the campaign ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ she said, “This campaign can be influential throughout the country in order to reduce girl foeticide and girl infanticide to maintain the child sex ratio. The initiative that was started initially in 116 districts has now expanded to cover 640 districts in the country. The Ministry of Women and Child Development are playing a very important role by making effective laws but the implementation will come only with the help of our civil society.”
Echoeing the view Unicef India representative, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque said, “We should place equal value on the life and growth of girls as well as boys. Also, marriage should not be the end stage of a development of a girl. They should be allowed a space to fulfil their dreams and should be provided with equal opportunities.”