Since 2017, Jammu and Kashmir Association of Social Workers (JKASW), Humanity Welfare Organization HelpLine (HWOHL) and ActionAid India’s Jammu & Kashmir Field Office have been running Child-Friendly Spaces (CFSs) in the Kashmir valley. Currently, we run 100 CFSs in villages across Srinagar, Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts. This UNICEF-supported project aims at ensuring community-based protection of children, and promoting their participation in their family and community settings. More than 18,000 children are currently enrolled in the CFSs, out of which more than 9,500 are girls.
With a view to boosting the confidence of girls enrolled in CFSs and providing them the kind of opportunities they generally don’t get, a cricket tournament for girls titled ‘Go Girls Tournament’ was initiated on January 4. The tournament, scheduled to run up till the month of March, comprises 20 teams in total. In January, six matches of 10 overs each were organized in Srinagar and Anantnag. Girls flocking at the cricket ground in large numbers and oozing enthusiasm despite the chilly winter and snowfall was a feast for the eyes!
“Cricket is a team game. It inculcates team spirit among players and helps us realize the value of togetherness in order to be able to perform well,” said one such enthusiastic girl. This initiative was also welcomed by the parents of these girls and other community members; they felt that such steps would go a long way in empowering girls in the Kashmir valley and breaking gender stereotypes.
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