Millennium Post

PM makes emotional appeal for girls, denounces foeticide

Launching 'beti bachao, beti padhao (save daughter, educate daughter)' scheme in this district of Haryana, a state with one of the poorest sex ratio, Modi said discrimination against the girls shows a mindset which is worse than that in the 18th century and harmful for the future of the nation.

Joined by Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit, Modi pleaded for ending the evil practice, saying he had come as a "beggar" begging for the lives of daughters.

"Mein aaj aapse kuch mangnein aaya hoon..ek bikshuk banke mein aapse betiyoon ki zindagi ki bheekh maang rahan hoon (today, I have come to seek something from you..I have come as a beggar to plead for saving the lives of the girls," he said.

He invoked Kalpana Chawla, first Indian woman who hailed from Haryana who had travelled in space, saying that it was very painful to see "other Kalpana Chawlas are killed in the wombs of their mother".

While administering a pledge to the gathering that they will work to end female foeticide and discrimination against girls, he said, "we cannot call ourselves citizens of 21st century by practising such a crime. By our mindset, we belong to 18th century when daughters were killed soon after they were born.

"..We are in fact worse than that. In those times, (in 18th century), girls would be allowed to be born and live for some time. We kill our daughters in the wombs of their mothers... In the root of this is our mental poverty."

Noting that in the Indian society, sons are considered very important, he said there is a belief that "daughters are a property of some other house where they would be married.

This disease is not of Haryana alone but this mental illness ails the whole country."

He slammed doctors indulging in female foeticide, saying their "sin" was a "betrayal" against society.

The 'beti bachao, beti padhao' scheme provides for small deposits for girl child, which would fetch an interest rate of 9.1 per cent and provide income tax rebate.

'Sukanya Samridhi Account' can be opened at any time from the birth of a girl child till she attains the age of 10 years, with a minimum deposit of Rs 1000. A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited during the financial year.

Pitching for a nationwide initiative to end discrimination against girls and improving the sex ratio, Modi appealed for a united approach to fight the scourge irrespective of political affiliation.

Unless it is tackled, the country would be facing a huge challenge ahead, he warned.
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