Modi seeks mass movement to remove gender imbalance

Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for a mass movement to protect the girl child, expanding the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP)” campaign from the existing 161 to cover all districts of the country.
He also launched a new programme aimed at reducing under-nutrition and low birth weight, bring down anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce the prevalence of stunting among children.
Modi was on a day-long visit to this Rajasthan district that was in news recently for a remarkable transformation for attaining minimum gender gap — a leap from having the worst sex ratio at birth in Rajasthan seven years ago. According to 2011 census, the ratio was 837 girls per 1,000 boys.
Now it is 955 girls per 1,000 boys — the best in the state.
Highlighting the details of the “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” initiative, the prime minister said it was about the mindset and that the society needed to jointly battle to come out the problem.
“This cannot happen with the government budget alone. This will happen when there is a mass movement.People are to be educated, made to understand.”
“It is unfortunate that we have to plead people to save girl child, and use funds from budget separately for creating awareness. Nothing can be more disgraceful for a society than unequal sex ratio.
“We have to make it a revolution that number of girls taking birth should be equal to that of boys, the education provided to boys should also be given to girls, then only we can move ahead.”
“Today, the daughter is killed in the womb without either the mother or the daughter seeing each other’s face,” he told a gathering with a large number of women.
Reminding about more than 100-year-old International Women’s Day being celebrated on March 8, he said the gender imbalance in the country can be reduced if the citizens decide to have parity in the birth of sons and daughters. For this, he said, a major role was to be played by mothers-in-law.
He said the government has now expanded the girl child programme from 161 districts to 640 districts of the country.
Modi also met and greeted a group of 200 little girls, who were all born after January 22, 2015 — the day when “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” was launched in Rajasthan.
He distributed certificates to the best performing districts in the programme and interacted with some of the beneficiary mothers and girls.
Launching the nationwide National Nutrition Mission (NNM) Modi said: “Ignorance is the major reason for weak physical growth of our sons and daughters, and underweight births.” — IANS