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BOSCO Bangalore celebrates International Day of the Girl Child

The Rally held by BOSCO
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Bangalore, Oct. 12. BOSCO (Bangalore Oniyavara Seva COota) celebrated the 3rd International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October  with the International theme ''Empowering the adolescent girls and ending the cycle of violence'' with a rally organised by BOSCO inmates and staff through the streets of the City of Bangalore.
The programme started with the welcoming of Chief Guest Narmada Anand, Programme Manager, Integrated Child Protection scheme, ICPS and resource person Ms. Geeta Menon, Founder of Stree Jagradi Samidhi, a Bangalore Based organization that supports domestic workers and a known women's rights activist. This endeavour was to conscientise the public on the endless violence and heinous acts happening against girl children all over the country. BOSCO is synonymous to the Salesian Ministry for the Street Children of Bangalore.

Inaugurating the programme Ms Anand said ''children are getting abused everywhere, especially girl children. Violence on adolescent girls is very high and with the help of public and organizations like BOSCO, children' rights have to be safeguarded at any cost.''
Mrs. Menon gave an orientation on ''Empowering the Adolescent Girls: Ending the cycle of violence'', in which she asked the girls to be assertive and say No to all kind of abuses. She quoted Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who is known for her activism in the field of girl child education.

A two hour long rally was one of the highlights of the programme. It was flagged off with the participation of more than 150 adolescent girls aged between 14-18. Girl children from BOSCO's shelter homes as well as from BOSCO's street presences in City Market,  Shivaji Nagar, City Railway Station and Majestic Bus Station, joined in the rally.

The rally, led by women  constables, started from BOSCO Yuvodaya, passed through Upparpet Police station and ended at Freedom Park, Gandhinagar. Placards that conveyed messages about abuses against girl child, held by the girls were the highlights of the rally. ''We have to be educated for our better future and say 'stop' to all abuses'' said Bhavya an inmate of BOSCO Vatsalya Bhavan.

Sunitha who hails from Jolly Mohalla area said ''A day like this is very much important to know our rights and demand the same from public''. Outreach staff of BOSCO performed a street play, 'Stop Abuse'' to mark the day of celebration during the rally.

BOSCO, who has been in the forefront fighting for oppressed and downtrodden, has rescued 411 girls in the last eight months of which 112 were girls aged between 14 to 16 years old.
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