Saba Sharma was selected as an Asian Girls Human Rights winner for her efforts at breaking gender biases and empowering marginalized girls.
She was born and brought up in Chandigarh, India. Since childhood, she has been volunteering at Bapudham Colony, a slum settlement in modern Chandigarh. Here, boys are given more preference by their families in education, sports, co-curricular activities, good quality and nutritious food. In the meantime, girls have to spend most of their time at homes unlike boys who can easily roam around. The worst part is that the parents get their daughter married at a very young age (16-20 years) and do not give them the opportunity to discover their true potential, and they avoid sending their daughters for higher education, mostly drop-out after class 10th or 12th.
To bring change, she and her younger sister organized over 55 girls of the area in a ‘Girls Parliament’, where we organize activities such as debate on issues related to gender inequality, public speaking and poster making on girls rights, self-defense sessions, plan for daily updates on a wall newspaper ‘Jugnu’, street plays to raise voice of girls and spread awareness among general public. We encourage the targeted girls to visit the library regularly where they can take English lessons, Computer classes. Playing games and reading are encouraged among them to enhance their overall morale and well-being.
Her project will support her to reach out to more marginalized girls of Bapudham Colony and other such slum-settlements that will contribute to their growth and provide them with a chance to explore their rights and capabilities. The dream of living a dignified life for a girl living in a slum settlement will no longer be a distant dream. She believes that this achievement will help many other young girls’ blossom and flourish in their lives, becoming powerful women as well. It is her hope that this achievement will inspire many more girls to step up and volunteer in support of young girls and women who are deprived of their rights today.