Delhi Daredevils players Kevin Pietersen, Ajit Agarkar and Mahela Jayawardene took some time off on Saturday to show support for the ‘Dare to Care’ campaign. The initiative will witness the Indian Premier League franchise and UNICEF working towards encouraging the public to build a protective environment for adolescent girls in the country.

Ajit Agarkar

Geoffrey Lepps, a Guyanese national who has made India his home for more than 30 years now, is involved in getting cricketers from across the world to support causes for UNICEF. “Indian cricketers love being ambassadors for India supporting various causes. I am sure that the other Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will follow suit to support such causes that can empower the country,” said Lepps.

Commenting on the sorry state of the girl child in India, Ajit Agarkar said: “The fact that 40% of adolescent girls (aged 14-17) in our country do not attend school, 40% girls marry before the legal age of 18 and around 56% are anemic is shocking. It’s time that we give girls an equal status as the boys in the family and society at large.”

As part of the association, Delhi Daredevils will be seen sporting a blue ribbon symbolising girl empowerment movement for the remainder of IPL-V. The franchise will partner UNICEF for three years. Some proceeds from the ticket and merchandise sales will go into this cause, informed the team’s spokesperson.