I have to admit, when I first came across a headline advertising a "girl store" where you could literally "buy" a girl, I was terrified by what I might find. Imagine my relief when I clicked on the site and found that it was the exact opposite of what I feared.
The Girl Store is the name of a brick-and-mortar store in New York City and a website, brought to us by Nanhi Kali, a non-governmental organization dedicated to educating underprivileged little girls. The Girl Store is Nanhi Kali's effort to buy girls in India the school supplies and uniforms they need to stay in school — so that they don't get married off or "sold" into forced working conditions or sex slavery operations. A mere $10 buys a young girl a school uniform, while $21 buys her the books she'll need to study.
According to The Girl Store website, only three out of 10 girls who enroll in the first grade in India are still enrolled by the 10th grade. By that time, most girls have been forced to quit school to help with household chores, have been married off in an arranged marriage, or have been sold or traded into child slavery operations. The Girl Store helps these girls stay in school by offering educational, academic and financial support.
The Girl Store has generated so much buzz that in less than 24 hours after the website launch, it sold out all stock, with people going to the site from all corners of the world. The goal of project is to not only purchase supplies for young girls but also to create awareness about the plight of young girls in other parts of the globe.
Check out The Girl Store to meet the young girls who will soon — with our help — be on their way to an education and a new life.
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