India, Nov 16, 2015 – Tribune India
Tribune News Service
Mandi, November 15
The Mandi administration has taken an initiative to check the dwindling gender ratio in the district. Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kadam said a campaign named ‘Meri Laadli’ was launched to save the girlchild in the district.
The child gender ratio in the district as per the census report of 2011 is 916. But, the gender ratio in certain areas, including medical blocks of Sandhol, Baldwara and Ladbharol, was far worse and cause for concern. “These blocks have been selected as target areas for specific intervention for improving gender ratio and stop pre-birth gender selection,” he added.
Serious efforts were being made by the Health and Family Welfare Department to increase the gender ratio, but the district administration had gone a step further and launched a special initiative named ‘Meri Laadli’, he said.
It was found that the reason for the adverse gender ratio was the preference for the male child and the major challenge before the administration was the social aspect of the problem, he added.
Most campaigns relating to adverse gender ratio focus on enforcement approach that intends to scare people. The emphasis had been on save the girlchild rather than to stop female foeticide. The approach of ‘Meri Laadli’ tries to evolve and graduate to a more positive level of creating a positive energy around the notion of the baby girl, he said.
The objective of the initiative was to make the save girlchild programme a community-centric and ultimately convert it into a social movement.
The initiative is being executed in support of the Health Department, District Red Cross Society, the ICDS Department, the Welfare Department and the Mandi Saksharta Evam Jan Vikas Samiti and NGOs.
District Red Cross Society secretary OP Bhatia said three-pronged strategy was devised for tackling the issue, to generate positive notion about girlchild by celebrating birth of the baby girl, information dissemination and creating awareness among the people with community participation and enforcement of laws and vigilance against gender determination and consequent abortion with the community participation.
The initiative envisages that every girl’s birth must be celebrated so as to kill the negative social attitude and generate positivity about the birth of a girl. And the district administration decided to celebrate by sending a greeting card and a gift to parents on the birth of a girlchild and visit to families of newborn girls by the district administration to congratulate them.
The administration has shown commitment to promote the girl education. Many students especially girls, drop out after due to inability to pay fees and unwillingness of parents to take financial burden of girl’s education. The district administration has sponsored 26 girls for higher education with public donations, said Bhatia.
“As demand for such sponsorship is growing, it has been decided to institutionlise this effort by creating a special society, Mandi Shiksha Uththan Samiti, which will pursue the cause of supporting poor students for higher education,” he added.
He said the Meri Laadli campaign was public-supported and no government funding was involved in the programme.