National Girl Child Day is about a dream of possibility : “ to raise public awareness on the deep bias against female children in India.”Sixteen years ago, Tara’s first book was called Mala: A feminist folktale. Now out of print, the book featured a strong willed girl who didn’t wait around to be rescued, but defeated a demon by herself. Tara’ s vision has always been about picture books for children which keep in mind a clear gender perspective. Books with strong female characters as diverse and three dimensional as their real-life counterparts. Books that would move the representation of young women beyond the boundaries of a narrow understanding of femininity. Books which – above all – would playfully engage children of both sexes.So as we mark National Girl Child Day in India, we celebrate some our favourite female characters: Velu, the spirited ragpicker from Trash; Tala, the hero with magical powers in Today is My Day, and Meena – the young fisher-girl, whose sensible intelligence prevails in Catch that Crocodile!Fictional they may be, but at the end of the day fiction is more than a story, and more too than a mirror held up to the society it represents. It is a powerful shaping force in its own right.So who is your favourite female character?
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