The hashtag is believed to have been started by former actress and author Twinkle Khanna who shared a picture from her school days while tweeting that two in five girls in India never graduate from high school.
Khanna then nominated other top Bollywood celebrities to raise awareness about health, education, and the worrying gender disparity among poorer kids in India.
I have the same hairstyle as my teacher! Academics helped in making me an independent woman. 2/5 girls still don’t complete school.Let’s ask #WhyTheGap with @stc_india to give every girl #TheRightStart -I nominate @sonamakapoor @tahira_k @akshaykumar to share their school memories pic.twitter.com/JJNAlZWIEI— Twinkle Khanna (@mrsfunnybones) 19 August 2019
Khanna's husband, superstar actor Akshay Kumar, then got all nostalgic, tweeting a picture of his younger self working out in the gym.
The B-Town hunk stated that while he had the privilege of nutritious home-cooked meals, around 1.17 million children in India cannot afford a meal.
Growing up I was always inclined towards sports & my mom ensured I got nutritious home-cooked meals to fuel my passion.But 11,72,604 children in India can’t afford even a single meal a day! It’s time to ask #WhyTheGap with @stc_india.I nominate @vidya_balan @taapsee @sonakshisinha pic.twitter.com/NTXsJOiiUP— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) 20 August 2019
Other Bollywood celebrities then started tweeting about their childhood privileges. Many stars of tinsel town used the hashtag #WhyTheGap to talk about the need to help out underprivileged kids who don’t enjoy the same privileges as they did.
My school days were some of my happiest memories. I believe that education is the one path to true independence and freedom. We should all be asking #WhyTheGap and working towards #TheRightStart for every child.— Sonam K Ahuja (@sonamakapoor) 21 August 2019
I nominate @arjunk26 @ReallySwara and @dulQuer to join @stc_india https://t.co/0NSET9C3Wa pic.twitter.com/xxhKltIux6
While I had the privilege of living under a roof comfortably, 2 million children still live on the streets. I nominate @fayedsouza @aliaa08 @AzmiShabana to ask #WhyTheGap with @stc_india. pic.twitter.com/Bl4uRSzOa4— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) 19 August 2019
Sports have been an integral part of my life. School race tracks became my war zone every year and thanks to a supportive family and encouraging school teachers I could have my moment of glory. Unfortunately many kids don’t have that support system #WhyTheGap@stc_india pic.twitter.com/PVUMLrnUX7— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) 20 August 2019
My sis & me😊. Education gave me the confidence to follow dreams, & discover myself & I’m always learning. Sadly many children don’t get this opportunity. I join @stc_india & ask #WhyTheGap so every child in India gets #TheRightStart I nominate @konkonas @SethShruti @NehaDhupia https://t.co/d0LMAAZaXD pic.twitter.com/gcLJTxQhaT— Tara Sharma Saluja (@tarasharmasaluj) 20 August 2019
Well here’s an ape in a pineapple costume!Education empowered me, #toffee was inspired by this disturbing fact that 1/3 women in India are married before the age of 18.Let’s ask #WhyTheGap with @stc_india— Tahira Kashyap Khurrana (@tahira_k) 20 August 2019
I nominate @ayushmannk @iamsonalibendre @nehadhupia to share their stories https://t.co/eCL4uo8d4m pic.twitter.com/pJWwVcu3HB
According to reports, India has 472 million people aged below 18, but just half of them continue in school after the age of 14. The 2011 census said that there were 10.13 million child labourers in the country aged between 5 and 14. The report also noted that India has more than 4.5 million girls under the age of 15 who are married with children.
The government run Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) report of 2015 said that 19.8 million Indian children below the age of 6 are undernourished.