My Journey to Advocacy: Providing a voice for those who weren’t given one
Last December I watched the trailer to “It’s A Girl,” for the first time. It broke my heart to realize what was happening in many parts of the world. I quickly began researching more about it online, the more I read, the more I began to hate this world. Girls were being abandoned in the streets left to meet their deaths just because they were born a girl. I was left feeling hopeless, sad and defeated. This issue was epic, how could I possibly make a difference? As each day passed I continued to read more and shared online the stories I read.
Throughout my discoveries, I saw a little glimmer of hope. There was a very special home in India, specifically Punjab, (where I ethnically originate from) that was doing amazing work with baby girls that were being abandoned, uncared for and unwanted by their parents.
Unique Home in India is run by a wonderful woman named Prakash Kaur, she and her assistants together help raise approximately 60 girls. She recues girls from the sides of the roads, garbage bins, fields and some leave their unwanted baby girls in the provided cradle. After speaking with the orphanage I launched my “Save A Girl,” campaign, a social media campaign to help raise awareness on this issue as well as to collect personal care items and clothing for these girls. It was a small step, but that step helped me heal on the inside.
These girls reminded me of myself and the what “ifs,” began echoing in my head, what if it was me? I was given the opportunity at a fulfilling life in a beautiful country, the very least I could do was be a voice for them.
With the help of family, friends and the community the campaign raised just under 1500 items that were hand delivered to the girls by my relatives. Since that time I continued to raise awareness and have discussions via social media on what could be done on this issue. I have yet to make my travels to India; my first trip to India is going to have so much purpose. I look forward to meeting these girls and being inspired by them to do more.
Just a few weeks ago, I established GirlKind Foundation. A non-profit organization that I feel will serve as a great platform to help bring an end to gendercide, gender discrimination and help support abandoned girls in India. The goal is to continue to raise awareness on this issue, changing cultural values is going to take time, dedication, awareness and education. Eight months ago I would of have never imagined sitting in the position I am in today. The trailer to “It’s A Girl,” inspired and motivated me to do something, to become a voice for those girls who weren’t given one. Being an advocate for social change is much easier than five years ago. There are so many social media tools that we as individuals can use to make an impact and together we can change the world. Never underestimate your abilities; one person can truly make a difference.
Our first event as GirlKind is in keeping with raising awareness on the issue and asking how we can fix this. We will be a hosting a film screening of “It’s A Girl,” on September 15 to be held in Abbotsford, BC. This evening will also mark the official launch of GirlKind, creating a better world where every girl matters. If you would like more info please visit: www.girlkind.org
Deesh Sekhon is a wife and mother from Abbotsford, BC. She owns and operates her own photography company and is an active member of her community. Deesh has recently launched GirlKind Foundation, which is advocating and educating for change in cultural beliefs and taking a stand against Gendercide. Her belief is that we must strive daily in our lives to better our communities and make them a stronger, inclusive place for our children to live.
The views expressed by guest contributors to the “It’s a Girl” blog represent the opinion of the individual author who contributes the content and should not be interpreted as being endorsed or approved by Shadowline Films. We feature these contributions to foster dialogue and exchange on gendercide and invite our readership to join the discussion.