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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 20, 2007
UNICEFS girl star slams literacy project as hogwash
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UNICEFS girl star slams literacy project as hogwash

Kiran Devi, one of the UNICEFs poster girls to promote literacy, has lamented the organisation using her for purposes of brand promotion without providing substantial benefit to them.

Patna, May 20 : Kiran Devi, one of the UNICEF's poster girls to promote literacy, has lamented the organisation using her for purposes of brand promotion without providing substantial benefit to them.

"They used us for promotion, and then, they kicked us just like a face of an actress is used and then she is told goodbye. We have not benefited from the UNICEF project. They gave us air tickets for Delhi thinking that we will be happy with that, but we need something substantial for our living. We did not receive any certificate from them either," said Kiran.

Kiran, a junk dealer hailing from Bihar was one of the 15 girls selected by UNICEF, to promote literacy in several northern states.

UNICEF's state representatives, however, maintain that their role was limited to promoting girl education in the state, and they were doing it."Basically, we must appreciate that the education programme is for the Bihar Government and what UNICEF's role is mainly to promote girls education in Bihar and to support the government in that aspect," said Bijaya Rajbhandari, a representative of UNICEF here.

The state authorities have hailed the initiative of the UNICEF and justified the project as an educating experience for thousands of girls and women fighting adversity.

"We are projecting them to become ideals for other women and girls to fight adversity to achieve their goals," said Brishan Patel, Bihar's Education Minister.

The UNICEF campaign launched on May 9 have 15 'Girl Stars' aged between 17 and 30, some from the most disadvantaged communities in India, who through education and personal initiative have become successful, self-sufficient empowered role models for change.They have been chosen by UNICEF to represent their 'Girl Stars' multimedia project to inspire millions of girls in India to stay in school.The fifteen women include a forest activist, an archer, a radio presenter and folk singer, and a small loans manager, besides Kiran herself.

UNICEF has forged an alliance with a non-profit organisation called 'Going to School' in New Delhi to launch this campaign.

ANI

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