Chennai, Oct 14 : Rishika Sahoo, a woman from Odisha, has set out on a country-wide bike trip to raise awareness about protecting the girl child.
Rishika, who began the solo bike rally on September 14 from Bhubaneswar, has so far covered 7,000 kilometers passing through 13 states and the Union Territory of Delhi.
Inspired by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to take up the cause and encourage gender equality in the country, she has been trying to reach out to all sections of people, including the students, during her journey.
During her stay in Tamil Nadu's Chennai city, she addressed around 2,500 students of a government school in Saidapet area.
Rishika encouraged the students to talk to their friends and family about the protection of gild child. She also gave them tips about how to ensure safety in times of crisis.
"Save the Girl child mission is my subject. Therefore, I have started a rally from Bhubaneswar on 14th September and moving. Tamil Nadu is the 13th state, covering Chhattisgarh, M.P (Madhya Pradesh), Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bangalore, Kerala, etc. and my only (mission) in this rally is to reach out to maximum people, colleges, youth, doctors and inspire them to join our mission to save and balance this ratio in India," she said.
Rishika, who hopes to cover a total distance of 13,000 kilometers, also interacted with women living in slums.
Her next destination will be Tirupati and Hyderabad.
India's child sex ratio dropped from 964 in 1971 to a low of 918 in 2011, according to U.N. data. Between 2001 and 2011, the decline was seen in more than two-third of the districts in the nation.
A 2011 study published in the British medical journal the Lancet found that as many as 12 million Indian girls may have been selectively aborted between 1980 and 2010.
In a deeply patriarchal society like India, daughters are mostly seen as a financial liability which has led to a spike in crimes, including rape and trafficking.
The problem is worse in urban areas. In 2011, Delhi had one of the lowest child sex ratios of any state, with 871 girls born for every 1,000 boys.