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Camera Gives Voice to Voices of Girls

30 girls from Gwalior, Bhind and Morena who are being trained in the art of photography by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, Department of Women and Child development and UNICEF.

Many of the girls taking part were using a camera for the first time. Out of 30 about 20 were from Bhina and Morena (districts having child sex ratio of less then 850/1000).

The voices of girls have been muffled as they hardly have a forum to vent their feelings and social barriers don't permit them to engage in any activity outside other than going to school - if they are fortunate enough. But now "clicks" of camera are going to break this barrier of silence.

There are plans to hold a public exhibition of photographs clicked by the girls over the next few days. These photographs will be displayed in the schools where the girls study.

"Such initiatives will go a long way in empowering these girls," Ashok Shivhare, additional commissioner, Gwalior, said after inaugurating the workshop.

Anil Gulati, communication specialist, UNICEF Office for Madhya Pradesh, said: "This workshop is part of an effort to provide an opportunity to children to express their opinions using the power of photography."

"This is part of the initiative to provide more space and forums to child participation and how they can be engaged to document what they know, see or hear on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the ground realities," he added.

Suresh Tomar, joint director, department of women and child development, said: "We are hoping the children would be able to use the art of photography to help realise the MDGs."

Two senior photographers, Prabhas Roy and Jagdish Yadav from Delhi, are training the girls to master the art of photography.
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