Organization: India’s Jagriti Mission Ishita Foundation
Awards/ Achievements: (1) Brand Ambassador of Haryana State (2) Teacher for Underprivileged Children (3) Head of a Mini Bank for School Supplies for Underprivileged Children (4) Volunteer who Planted Thousands of Saplings to Prevent Deforestation and Global Warming (5) Host of Drawing and Poetry Competitions for Children (6) Strong Advocate Against Female Foeticide and Infanticide
For the past five years, I have been spreading awareness against female foeticide and infanticide, two deep rooted problems in India. I have been able to do this in cooperation with the Jagriti Mission Ishita Foundation, an organization founded after I was designated the Brand Ambassador of Haryana state. I also promote the education of girls, their legal rights and the right of being economically independent, and understanding of personal health and safety, all for the overall goal of improving the status of women in India. Working with the foundation has become a passion for me, allowing me to reach expansive audiences; for example, I have already helped 200,000 people make an oath against female foeticide and infanticide, most of whom are young people. The mini bank and classes I head also help underprivileged children in our area. I also am involved in environmental protection, and conduct road shows and plantation drives to prevent deforestation. Over the years, I have planted two thousand saplings and distributed ten thousand saplings to various cities.
My goal is to speak at the United Nations Assembly to take these issues to a greater audience. I want my message against female foeticide and infanticide, as well as issues such as the safety and equal rights educationally and legally to girls, to reach to every corner of the world.
Since I have been working with various girls’ rights issues since a young age, I will be able to share my working skills and experiences through the Asian Girl Human Rights Award. I have had to travel to remote areas to spread awareness of certain issues and government policies, motivated people through public speaking, and encouraged audiences to stand for a cause.
When I began working, many remarked that I am just a girl; what could I do to better the world? This question has made me further challenge myself and work tirelessly towards my goal. Though the past cannot change, the future is completely in our hands.
2014 Asian Girl Ambassadors Ishita Uppal of Jagriti-Mif and Shraddha Mahat of Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal were interviewed by Radio Taiwan International. Ishita Uppal, talks about sex-selective infanticide and femicide, its implications, and how to resolve problems.Young 13-year-old Shraddha talks about how cultural traditions in her country create discrimination against girls, and how her active participation in the child rights advocacy group is bringing change in social problems, including child marriage. Listen to their radio interview here: http://english.rti.org.tw/whatsOn/?recordId=7263 (To listen to the radio program, click the headphones icon beside “Girl Ambassadors for Human Rights”.)