Press Release

UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador Goes ‘Face to Face’ With Teens of India

19 January 2001
Author: UNFPA

United Nations, New York -- Lara Dutta, the current Miss Universe and a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will assess the needs of her country’s youth when she visits adolescent assistance projects in India from 22 to 25 January, as part of the Face to Face campaign.

Ms. Dutta, 22, has designed this trip as a launch pad for her impending establishment of adolescent reproductive and sexual health programmes in some Indian rural areas. Her trip will culminate in “town-hall” meeting with Mumbai teenagers, was web-cast at 0430 hrs GMT on 25 January. Ms. Dutta will lead the group in an open discussion of their needs and fears. Following the web cast, teenagers around the world will have the opportunity to chat on-line with her (www.timesofindia.com).

Ms. Dutta will visit the UNFPA Skills Development Centre in the urban slums outside Mumbai, where young women are being trained to strengthen their life skills. At the centre’s clinic, she will talk with young sex workers about the prevention of sexually transmitted disease (STD) including HIV/AIDS. She will also visit projects in villages in West Bengal that are working to empower girls and women by changing the attitudes and behaviour of the whole community.

The Face to Face campaign, sponsored by UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, focuses on generating public and political support for increased funding for services that empower women and girls everywhere to exercise their basic human rights. These rights include access to sexual and reproductive health care, gender equality, equal education and employment opportunities, and freedom from discrimination or violence. The Campaign has engaged several international celebrities, including Ms. Dutta, British singer Geri Halliwell and Somali-born supermodel Waris Dirie, to champion the needs of women and youth.

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UNFPA is the world’s largest internationally funded source of population assistance to developing countries. Since it began operations in 1969, the Fund has provided some $5 billion in assistance to those nations. The Fund seeks to assist developing countries and those with economies in transition in providing quality reproductive health and family planning services by focusing on the individual needs and choices of men and women.

Contact Information:

Abubakar Dungus
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-5031
Email: dungus@unfpa.org

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446
Email: ryanw@unfpa.org

India
Population : 1339.2 mil
Fertility rate
2.3
Maternal Mortality Ratio
174
Contraceptives prevalence rate
56
Population aged 10-24
28%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 61%
Girls 62%