Nominated Asian Girl Ambassador 2014: Ishita Uppal (2nd Asian Girl Rights Award Winner)

India_Mission Ishita_Ishita's PhotoName: Ishita Uppal

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

Introduction:

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”.)

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Education Material distribution and Interaction on Role of Stakeholders to promote the child friendly VDC:

Hoste Hainse and Jagriti Child and Youth Concern Nepal(JCYCN) jointly organized the Education Material distribution  and Interaction Program on Role of Stakeholders to promote the child friendly VDC in Pragatinagar, Nawalparasi on 15th of May 2014. We succeeded in distributing the educational materials to 70 underprivileged kids from five different government schools (Pragati Primary School, Janajoyoti Higher Secondary School, Narayani Primary School, Balmiki Primary School, and Dibajoyoti Lower Secondary School) in the locality with the support of Hoste Hainse and Nepalhilfe Bietigheim Harsfeld  e.V Germany. Most of the beneficiaries are from the very poor families and minority groups. Some were orphans.  Altogether there were 150 participants including 70 kids and their parents, teachers, local activists, political leaders, youths and government officials.

The program was conducted by the Chair of Mr. Tilottam Paudel, President of JCYCN and was facilitated by Mr. Dipak Sharma, General Secretary of JCYCN. Most of the speakers discussed the role of stakeholders to promote the child friendly VDC and the possible opportunities and challenges. On the program: Mr. Jiblal Shrestha, Secretary of Pragtinagar VDC, Mr. Badri Koirala, former Joint Secretary of National Planning Commission, Ms. Krishna Kumari Shrestha Literary Person ,Mr. Khimananda Bhusal Member of Teachers Union, Mr. Purusottam Neupane Teacher, Ms. Pratima Dhakal President of Network of Child Club and Jagriti Child Club, Mr. KB Rana National level Journalist, Mr. Garendra Wagle Director of Urban Development Training Center Pokahra, Ms. Radha Paudel President of Paraligal, Mr. Jay Narayan Sapkota  Leader of Nepali Congress, Mr. Hukum Subedi leader of U-Maoist, Mr. Hementa Shrestha leader of  CPN UML, Mr. Deepak Prasad Bashyal Program officer of Hoste Hainse and last but not least Mr. Tilottam Paudel President of JCYCN delivered their speeches with the focus on how  we  can make the place child friendly and its importance. Also, Speakers focused on the new challenges faced since the announcement of the new municipality named Devchuli including three VDCs,  Pragatinagar,  Devchuli and Daldale. Previously, Pragatainagar was the only VDC that ensures that the place is as child friendly as possible. However, there are now two more VDCs that have been added to look after the same place. We are requesting for all stakeholders to have the same goal.

At the end Mr. Bashyal from Hoste Hainse and Mr. Paudel from JCYCN focused on utilizing the support   at an optimum level to achieve results for education and also on how we can reduce the dropout rates in government schools as well as promote girls’ education and empower them. Both of them also focused their speech on how we have to depend on donors to solve our problems. Suggestions were also made to work together as a team.

Three ‘Girl Stars Award’ applicants nominated for the Asian Girl Rights Award.

Three applicants for the  ‘Girl Stars’  award in India have been nominated to apply for the Asian Girl Rights Award. 

 

Ms. Bisma Zaffar, Jammu & Kashmir State of India: An extremely active young children’s paper’s reporter in Kashmir, who comes from a socio-economic and educationally backward border village of district Kupwara in Kashmir.

 

Bisma, as a Peace Gong reporter, is trying to bring together girls of her area to help give them a voice and a platform to raise their concerns on issues affecting them. In her school and locality, she is encouraging girl students to get enrolled in school and giving her best to help them in their day to day needs and issues. She is also an active member of the local child protection committee.

 

Ms. Thansila M U, Waynad, Kerala State of India: President of the Waynad Shishu Panchayat (children’s council; a national movement to teach democracy and rights of children in India) and Editor of the Peace Gong Malayalam edition and contributor to Peace Gong children’s newspaper at the national level. Thansila has taken up a series of programs in her community, she comes from a Muslim background. 

 

 Under the leadership of Thansila, the Waynad Shishu Panchayat has initiated a children’s bank which helps in promoting literacy amongst the children. This team has also adopted a bamboo village where children, especially girls, from marginalized background are taking training in paper bag making and other sustainable activities.

 

Ishita Uppal from Panchkula, Haryana State of India: A Brand Ambassador of Haryana state against the evil of Female Foeticide. The youngest known social worker, she took great interest in community work at the tender age of 10. From that time, she has been delivering lectures at various places and in public meetings. At 12, she took on an expedition and travelled around several districts of Haryana and some parts of Punjab, bringing awareness among masses on the rights of the  girl child through her lectures & road-shows. She has also been awarded by the President of India. Ishita aims to spread her message to promote girls now at international level. She is presently in 11th grade at the Standard local School and has also written a collection of 60 poems, which is to be published shortly.