12-year-old tells Punjab, Haryana why girls are important

12-year-old tells Punjab, Haryana why girls are important

The doll in Ishita's hands is symbolic of why girls are important in our society, especially in states like Punjab and Haryana -- which have the worst sex ratio in the country.

Ishita has embarked on a 10,000 km journey by car to address various events against female foeticide, the killing of the unborn female child, in Punjab, Haryana and other states.

The young girl started her campaign Friday from Fatehgarh Sahib, the district in Punjab which had one of the worst sex ratios in the country at 766 females per 1,000 males, according to the 2001 Census.

When she addressed students, many of them older than her, teachers and officials at Fatehgarh Sahib, 60 km from Chandigarh, listened with rapt attention.
"My campaign is to create awareness among people that girls are very important in our society and they should not be killed before being born. People do it to fulfil their desire for having sons," Ishita said.

She will participate in an anti-female foeticide event in Haryana's historical town of Kurukshetra, 100 km from here, Sunday.
A Class 8 student of a school in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, Ishita had never even heard about female foeticide till just over two years ago when she started seeing and reading advertisements against the menace and decided to take up the issue as her campaign.

Her father Deepshri Uppal said: "She used to ask so many questions about this social malady. We saw her interest in this matter and when she said that she wanted to campaign against female foeticide, we encouraged her in this."
Designated as a brand ambassador by the Chandigarh administration and the Haryana government, Ishita's campaign was flagged off Thursday by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda from here.

In the 2001 population Census, Punjab had a dismal sex ratio of 793 females per 1,000 males while Haryana was a shade better with over 800 females per 1,000 males. At least seven out of the 10 districts in the country which had the worst sex ratio, were in Punjab and Haryana.

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