Haryana poses a challenge for Modi's 'save daughters' campaign

Haryana poses a challenge for Modi's 'save daughters' campaign

Haryana has as many as 70 villages where not a single girl was born for several years. All the deliveries that took place in these villages were of baby boys.

Behind Thursday’s national launch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “save daughters” campaign—Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao—from Haryana lies the harsh reality of missing daughters in Jatland.

 Haryana’s notoriety as a state with a dismal sex ratio is no secret, but there are still dozens of villages where the child sex ratio continues to be way below the 500 mark. Sample this: In the Nangal village of Mahendergarh district, only eight girls were born in the year 2014 as against 24 boys. In Nawadi village, only seven girls were born against 22 boys last year. Similarly, in Garhi village in the same district, just two girls were born against eight boys in 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who launched the programme from Panipat in Haryana on Thursday, made an emotional appeal to the people of India, saying he comes as a “bhikshuk” (beggar) to ask for daughters’ lives to be saved.

Modi said we have no right to call ourselves citizens of the 21st century as long as we have an 18th century mindset. “The discrimination between sons and daughters must end,” the prime minister said.

Noted actor Madhuri Dixit is the brand ambassador for the programme. She participated in the event on Thursday despite her mother being seriously ill. 

Modi recalled the example of Jayapur village in Varanasi where, on his advice, an Anandotsav (celebration) is held for the birth of each girl child with the planting of five tree saplings. “People across the country could follow this example,” he said. The prime minister launched the “Sukanya Samriddhi Account” for the benefit of the girl child and released a stamp on the theme.

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