New Delhi, INDIA, 25 December 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra and Delhi Daredevil cricketer Irfan Pathan jointly pledged their support for adolescent girls at the “The Cheer-O-Meter”(www.d2c.in) website launch held in UNICEF house today. The d2c.in website is a digital extension of the UNICEF and Delhi Daredevils ‘Dare to Care’ partnership for empowering adolescent girls.
Leading Bollywood actor, Priyanka Chopra said, “Even today, millions of girls continue to be deprived of their Right to Education. Early marriage keeps lakhs of girls from completing their studies. If you want this situation to change, become a part of our “Dare to Care” team. Our support will help these girls to fight for their right. I urge my fans to log in to www.d2c.in and demonstrate that they dare to care for adolescent girls.”
The website www.d2c.in urges supporters to get actively involved and demand the rights for adolescent girls across the country especially those who are excluded and marginalized. People signing up, serve as champions and will help build awareness on the issue, through email, Facebook, SMS and Twitter.
Champions who manage to add the highest number of supporters to join the site win a chance to play with cult members of the Delhi Daredevils team such as Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, and Irfan Pathan.
Reaching out to millions of cricket lovers across the country, Irfan Pathan said, “The entire Delhi Daredevils team is appealing to all our supporters to join hands in the fight for providing equal opportunities to adolescent girls. Delhi Daredevils in association with UNICEF India needs you to bring about change. Register your cheer for the "Dare to Care" initiative on The Cheer-O-Meter (www.d2c.in) website and win a chance to join the ranks of the most enigmatic team of IPL Season 5.”
While India has made important strides in expanding the access of girls to education, health and social services, millions of adolescent girls still face obstacles in their lives, experiencing various forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse on account of their age and their sex.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is the public perception of value given to the girl child and adolescent girls. Given the traditional mind-sets on the issue of gender, women have lower economic status, less livelihood opportunities and they have little say in their home. They are often seen as a liability. This needs to change, making sure girls will not be married before 18, they will be able to complete school, they will feel safe and respected, able to attain a healthy nutrition status and they will be protected from gender based violence,” said Louis Georges Arsenault, UNICEF India Representative.
“The Dare to Care campaign is set to help change these attitudes and garner the support of millions through Bollywood and cricket,” he added.
Addressing the large gathering, Mr. Hemant Dua, GMR Sports head (marketing) said, “Cheer for “Dare to Care”. With the Cheer-O-Meter, our fans can support a cause that is close to our hearts. Delhi Daredevils DARES everyone to wake up and start caring for the girls in your family.”
Adolescence is a critically important age. It is during this second decade of life that inequities and poverty manifest starkly. Young people who are poor or marginalized are less likely to make the transition to secondary education during adolescence, and they are more likely to experience exploitation, abuse and violence such as domestic labour and child marriage – especially if they are girls.
The Cheer-O-Meter aims to mobilize the large and loyal fan base of Priyanka Chopra and Irfan Pathan, to speak up for the protection and education of millions of adolescent girls still facing obstacles in their lives and experiencing various forms of discrimination, exploitation and abuse on account of their age and their sex.
For media queries and more information:
G Rajaraman , Media Coordinator,
+91 98113 09070
Geetanjali Master, Communication Specialist, UNICEF India.
Sonia Sarkar. Communication Officer, UNICEF India, Mobile: +91-98-10170289