The Background

India is known to be home to the world’s largest number of poor people in the world. Of the nearly 1 billion inhabitants in India, an estimated 350-400 million are below the poverty line, 75 percent of them being in rural areas.

Girl Child: Poverty and Healthcare

Experts suggest direct linkages between poverty and adolescent girls’ health and also with the vast majority of poor girls caught in the vicious circle of early motherhood. This in turn deprives her of the basic rights to health, education, development and independence.

As per research figures, the under nourishment and neglect of the young girls is reflected in their poor body size/growth and narrow pelvis as they grow into adolescence, rendering child bearing a huge risk.

Girls between 13 to 18 years of age have also shown a lower percentage of iron, making them prone to anemia and similar health issues.

Girl Child: Impact on Education

Education is a basic human right, vital to personal and societal development and well-being. In the backdrop of such adverse financial conditions in India, education of the girl child naturally takes a backseat. More than 40 percent of the Indian population is known to be illiterate, with women, tribal and scheduled castes being the most affected.

Nearly two in every three women in India are illiterate. Looking at it from another perspective, only 82 girls for every 100 boys get enrolled in school, while 35 million girls in India do not attend school altogether.