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VIDEO: Meena, India's Dora the Explorer, Helps UNICEF Promote 'Child Rights'

Saturday, 6 October 2012

UNICEF launched its annual Child Rights Week this week in Bangladesh. The program is a part of an ongoing grass-roots initiative to educate children and their families about urgent social and public health concerns that range from neonatal health, nutrition, and early childhood education to the practices of dowry and child marriages.
In a country where the literacy rate is still a struggling 53 percent, and the average age that a child drops out of school is 8 years old, mass media as an instructive tool is vitally important. The cartoon heroine Meena, an Indian girl around the age of 10 who lives in a rural village with her family, is the stand-in for a multitude of girls and boys across the subcontinent facing the same issues highlighted by UNICEF — issues which Meena routinely dramatizes on her show.
"Meena is now a daughter not only of Bangladesh but the whole of South Asia," said the UNICEF representative to Bangladesh, Pascal Villeneuve, in a statement on July 27. "She talks about issues affecting girl children in particular, such as education, early marriage, and unequal distribution of household chores."

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