Freida roots for girl education

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“If you want to reduce the number of child marriages, educate a girl. If you want healthier kids, educate a girl. If you want better literacy rate, educate a girl,” said actress Freida Pinto at a recent event in the capital. The actress was present at the Empowering Women in India, an exclusive red carpet reception, co-organised by 10x10 campaign at The Oberoi Hotel. The Slumdog Millionaire actress, who is the global ambassador of “Because I am A Girl Campaign” was in the city to show her support for the cause.
She also lent her voice to one of the nine stories in the documentary film Girl Rising directed by Academy award-nominated Richard R Robbins, which was screened at the event.
On coming to India with the 10x10’s innovative campaign to ‘educate girls and change the world’ Freida says that the timing could not have been better. “There has been a shift in consciousness among people. People are realising the importance of educated women in developed and developing nations. I am very pleased to get such a warm welcome in India,” she says.
Looking stylish in black trouser and top Freida says she feels inspired by the enthusiasm towards the campaign in India. She narrated the incident that inspired her to take up the girl child education issue. “I was 12-years-old when I first saw a little girl named Pinki begging on road. I asked my mother why wasn’t Pinki going to school and my mother replied that every child has Right to Education and those of us who get to go to school should use our education to further educate more children. I cannot thank my parents enough for showing me this path. And, this is why I am here. Because I had the privilege to go to school, I feel that more girls should get similar opportunity,” says Freida.
The message was loud and clear. Educating and empowering girls is the way forward worldwide. The evening dedicated to gender equality also saw a panel discussion about what can be done to end gender inequality by changing minds, lives and policies.
Talking about the documentary film, Freida says, that girls featured in the film do not come across as victims but survivors. The film brings to life the stories of girls who were subjected to violence, abuse, married to older men and forced into slavery from around the world. “Thankfully, we are now saying that this cannot continue. I hope more men will also come forward and commit to the cause,” says Freida.
The film will also be aired on CNN International on June 22 and 23

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