Majority of adolescent girls in urban slums deprived of basic health and education services compared to boys over the course of pandemic, highlights Save the Children WINGS 2022 Report

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Save the Children, India (also known as Bal Raksha Bharat) has highlighted the disproportionate impact of the ravaging COVID-19 on girls, with a focus on populations in urban slums through a research-led study. The report – THE WORLD OF INDIA’S GIRLS – WINGS 2022 – themed Spotlight on Adolescent Girls amid COVID-19 was launched today. The report reveals the situation of girls during and post first pandemic induced nation-wide lockdowns in India, which has only worsened with the multiple mutations and successive waves of the COVID-19 virus since then.

The study unfolds the repercussions on girls’ access to health, education, and opportunities for play and recreation with a focus on the changes that have taken place in the overall context of their insecurities. It also includes understanding the coping mechanisms adopted by the families to deal with the increased health and nutritional insecurities, the abrupt decline in learning opportunities, the pressure on early marriages, and limited play and recreation facilities. 

Speaking on the report, Mr. Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Save the Children said, “India@100 cannot achieve its full potential unless we secure 100% of its children today. WINGS 2022 Report is our way of bringing to the fore the risks our nation runs into by not investing in and securing all its children. Specifically, the fact that India @75 has almost half its children not able to equitably secure themselves with their basic rights is a tale by itself! With this report, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to being a part of the solution. Along with the various specific steps the report provides a way forward for all of us and more importantly, the obligation to include the voices of children – the primary stakeholders – to shift the approach from a process of planning for them to planning with them. Children Cannot wait – not any longer!”

The study has also captured the voices of adolescent girls, to describe the changes that have occurred in their lives. The findings are paramount to framing an appropriate response to build back better by way of formulating recommendations to all stakeholders #allyoupforher. These will enable the policymakers and implementers to take informed long-term strategic measures to safeguard and uphold the rights of girl children.

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