Odisha Girl Geetanjali Marandi Wins National-Level Debate Competition On Menstrual Awareness

Odisha Girl Geetanjali Marandi won a debate competition conducted on the topic ‘Absenteeism of the girl child in school, the impact of menstrual hygiene’ at the ‘Niine Movement’s Menstrual Awareness Conclave’ in Delhi on Monday, the event which was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF).

Geetanjali, a Class X student of Kapilas Girls High School in Gondia block of Dhenkanal district, emerged the winner from the 21 girl students across the country. The 15-year-old Odisha girl Geetanjali won a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a trophy.

Geetanjali shared the stage with Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Shabana Azmi during this event. She interacted with Deputy director of UNFPA  Asia Pacific regional office Dr.Jennifer Butler in a panel discussion.

Gitanjali said, “Out of 21 contestants, 12 were selected for a panel discussion. Nine contestants were awarded during the program. I was awarded Rs 5 lakh.”

Akshay Kumar, who was the Chief Guest of the event, had asked multiple questions to the participants in the last round during which Marandi impressed the panelists.

Geetanjali was nominated for the conclave by the ST & SC development department of the Odisha government. The Nine Movement is a five-year plan aimed at raising awareness about menstrual hygiene as well as tackling taboos related to menstruation.

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