Bank accounts for newborn girls

Ghanchi community to invest Rs 5,000 for each child

To reduce the high incidence of female foeticide and infanticide in Rajasthan, a local community has decided to open a bank account for every newborn girl and put Rs 5,000 in it as fixed deposit.

The decision will be implemented among hundreds of families of the Ghanchi community in Jodhpur city, some 350 km from state capital Jaipur.

The move aims to ease the financial burden on families at the time of the girl’s marriage when the money could be used, community leaders said.

“Cases of female foeticide and infanticide are quite rampant in the area. The major reason behind the evil practice is that the families think girls cause financial burden till marriage,” said Rajendra Bhati, general secretary of Ghanchi Mahasabha.

He said the money would be collected through donations and non-government organisations. “A fixed deposit account will be opened in the name of the girl soon after her birth. It will provide financial security to the girl’s family members,” Bhati said.

Rajasthan continues to battle a declining child-sex ratio due to female foeticide and infanticide, especially in rural areas. An infant girl was found beneath a large stone in Chittorgarh town, over 340 km from here, a couple of days ago.

Some passers-by spotted the girl lying near the bushes and informed the police.
“Those who dumped her had placed a stone on her due to which she sustained injuries. The girl is undergoing treatment at a hospital,” said a police officer.

According to the 2011 Census , Rajasthan has 883 girls between the age of 0-6 for every 1,000 boys. Alarmed over the state’s skewed sex ratio, the state government recently announced steps to curb pre-natal sex determination tests at ultrasound clinics.

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