Modi seeks mass movement to remove gender imbalance

Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan), March 8: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for a mass movement to protect the girl child, expanding the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)” campaign from the existing 161 to cover all districts of the country. He also launched a new programme aimed at to reduce under-nutrition and low birth weight, bring down anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce the prevalence of stunting among children.
Modi was on a day-long visit to this Rajasthan district that was in news recently for a remarkable transformation for attaining minimum gender gap — a leap from having the worst sex ratio at birth in Rajasthan seven years ago.
Highlighting the details of the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” initiative, the Prime Minister said it was about the mindset and that the society needed to jointly battle to come out the problem.
“This cannot happen with the government budget alone. This will happen when there is a mass movement. People are to be educated, made to understand. “It is unfortunate that we have to plead people to save girl child, and use funds from budget separately for creating awareness. Nothing can be more disgraceful for a society that unequal sex ratio.
“We have to make it a revolution that number of girls taking birth should be equal to that of boys, the education provided to boys should also be given to girls, then only we can move ahead.” He said the country in the 21st Century was worse than what it was in the 18th Century when a girlchild was at least allowed to take birth before being drowned in a milk tub. “Today, the daughter is killed in the womb without either the mother or the daughter seeing each other’s face,” he told a gathering with a large number of women.
“Those who think sons will help in old age ... the situation is different today. I have seen families where old father-mother spend their old days in orphanages despite having four sons living in luxury. And, I have also seen such families where a daughter takes up job without marrying, so that parents do not face difficulties in old age.”
Reminding about more than 100-year-old International Women’s Day being celebrated on March 8, he said the gender imbalance in the country can be reduced if the citizens decide to have parity in the birth of sons and daughters. Modi also met and greeted a group of 200 little girls, who were all born after January 22, 2015 — the day when “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” was launched in Rajasthan. He distributed certificates to the best performing districts in the programme and interacted with some of the beneficiary mothers and girls. (IANS)