March 23, 2017
Room to Read India was awarded The Laadli Media & Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity in the electronic documentaries category. The announcement was made today at an award ceremony held in Chinmaya Mission, Delhi by Population First, the award organizer. Earlier this month, Room to Read India was awarded 2nd place in the short film category contest by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Both recognitions are for videos produced by the organization which highlight the impact of its Girls’ Education Program, which supports girls in nine countries to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read operates across seven states in India and has supported over 11,000 girls within the country through its Girls’ Education Program.
The Laadli Media & Advertising Awards was launched in 2007 through the communication and advocacy initiative Population First and serves to honor, recognize and celebrate the efforts of those in media and advertising who highlight pressing gender concerns. Submissions for this award specifically focus on challenging gender stereotypes and redefining gender norms and perceptions of girls and women. Room to Read’s winning video submission, found below, included stories of young women supported by the Girls’ Education Program from various states in India and highlighted the impact of the program’s life skills workshops which enable girls to discover their own strength and advocate for themselves.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights recognizes creative efforts in promoting and protecting child rights pertaining to issues related to child trafficking, child marriage, child begging and child abuse. Room to Read’s second place winning video tells the story of Roshanara, an alumna of Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program from Delhi, who was nearly forced by her family to drop out of school before she finished the 10th grade and participate in an arranged marriage. Through the life skills training and support from her Room to Read “social mobilizer”, or mentor, Roshanara successfully negotiated with her family and advocated for her future education. Today, Roshanara is pursuing her studies at university and is working part-time at a doctor's clinic to support her siblings’ education.
“I have learned communication and interpersonal skills,” says Roshanara of Room to Read’s life skills training. “I also learned how to gain the support of my parents and to impress upon them the importance of educating a girl.” Roshanara is an active alumna and eagerly leads events organized in support of girls’ education. She will be visiting New York City and Washington, D.C. in May to speak at Room to Read’s annual fundraising galas. The winning video of Roshanara can be viewed through the slideshow below.