APril 29, 2008 - It was a plea not from the prime minister of India but
from a proud father of three daughters — save the girl child.
Launching the country's biggest ever campaign against the
"inhuman and uncivilised practice" of female foeticide, PM Manmohan
Singh on Monday said no nation, society or community could hold its head
high and claim to be part of a civilised world if it condoned the
practice of discriminating against women.
Hitting out at progressive, wealthy and educated states
like Gujarat, Punjab and Delhi for their dwindling sex ratio, Singh said
it indicated that growing economic prosperity and education levels had
not led to a corresponding mitigation as far as reducing female
foeticide was concerned.
The 2001 census figures showed Punjab had only 798 girls
(per 1,000 boys), Haryana 819, Delhi 868 and Gujarat 883.
According to Singh, child sex ratio statistics in the 0-6
age group for the past four decades had been showing a continuous
The decline in number of girls per 1,000 boys from 962 in 1981 to 927 in
the year 2001 was alarming, he said. "I urge every citizen to step
forward and help in empowering the girl child. The action must begin at
home, in our families. I do not say this as the
prime minister of India.
I say this as the proud father of three daughters. I wish for every girl
in our country what I wish for my own daughters," Singh said.
"Societal discrimination against women begins in our
homes and even before the girl child is born. One of the most inhuman,
uncivilised and reprehensible practices is the practice of female
foeticide. The patriarchal mindset and preference for male children is
compounded by unethical conduct on the part of some medical
practitioners who illegally offer sex determination services. We must
overcome this great problem through social awareness and strict
enforcement of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques
Act," he added.
to social ills like female illiteracy, obscurantist social practices
or early marriage, dowry, poor nutritional entitlements and taboos on
women in public places making the Indian women and especially the Indian
girl child extremely vulnerable, Singh said the National Literacy
Mission should be reoriented to improve female literacy and challenge
the adverse sex ratio in the country.
with thanks : source :