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Olivia speaks for girl child - Miss Universe wraps up Northeast visit

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Staff Reporter   |   Published 06.10.13, 12:00 AM

Guwahati, Oct. 5: Miss Universe Olivia Frances Culpo wrapped up her two-day maiden visit to the Northeast by lending her voice and face to the campaign, Value The Girl Child, here today.

She flagged off the campaign with chief minister Tarun Gogoi this morning. Eulogizing Miss Universe’s efforts in taking up the cause of the girl child, Gogoi said, “She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart. And she wants to make the whole world beautiful. Also this is a special moment for me because I’ve never met a beauty queen before.”

The event was organised by the Indian Society for Third Party Assisted Reproduction (INSTAR) in association with the Northeast Frontier Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation and a local television channel. It was attended by schoolchildren from the city. Members of INSTAR also held a panel discussion on Continuing Medical Education on Surrogacy in India.

Culpo, on a 10-day debut tour to India, has promoted and propagated issues like celebrating the girl child, eradication of female foeticide, women empowerment and AIDS awareness in various states of the country.

Accompanied by social activist and fashion designer Sanjana Jon, Olivia was in Itanagar yesterday to participate in the curtain-raiser to the International Tourism Mart to be held at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh from October 18. The Mart aims at promoting the frontier state as a tourist destination in the world.

Clad in traditional Assamese attire (a fuchsia mekhela sador with floral designs embellished in silver thread designed by Bhaskardatta Goswami), Olivia said, “The strength of any nation is based on the healthy livelihood of its citizens. Hence, intensive efforts are required to rid the society of gender and caste-based discrimination. I appreciate INSTAR for bringing about positive response to surrogacy in India.”

She went on to add, “Importance should be laid on maintaining right to privacy of donor as well as surrogate mother by not involving a third party agency.”

Echoing Culpo’s views, Gogoi said concerted efforts were required to protect the girl child. “Society must play a proactive role in saving the girl child and nursing her. There is a decline in sex ratio in the country. Even educationally and economically advanced states like Punjab and Haryana have registered this decline. There is an urgent need to reverse the trend.”

NFR general manager R.S. Virdi, who attended the event, said, “Social transformation is only possible through the medium of education. Because it is through education one can become enlightened about the importance of girls in a society. And educating the girl alone is not enough, her family should be educated also.”

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